Business: Better Down Than Out

An alternative to retirement

The new U.S. law extending mandatory retirement from 65 to 70 will leave less room at the top for aspiring younger people and, some managers fear, could lead to a sclerosis in the executive ranks. Denmark has produced a partial answer to these problems. Nicknamed "decruitment," it involves recycling older middle and top managers to lower-level jobs.

The country's largest private employer, Co-Op Denmark, which runs department stores and supermarkets (sales: $1.9 billion), has started a policy of freezing promotions of top managers after age 50 and decruiting them...

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