Default Retirement Age

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Government has announced that the Default Retirement Age will be scrapped from October 2011

New proposals set out for consultation yesterday (29 July 2010) by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills mark the end of forced retirement. Employers will no longer be able to dismiss workers simply because they reach the age of 65, unless they can objectively justify doing so.

A review of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) had been planned and was due to announce its recommendations by October 2011. However, the Government’s intention is now to scrap the DRA from that date.

The new plans will allow for a six month transition from the existing regulations, following the announcement in the Budget that the DRA would be phased out from April 2011.

Explaining the rationale behind the proposals, Employment Relations Minister Ed Davey said:

“With more and more people wanting to extend their working lives, we should not stop them just because they have reached a particular age. We want to give individuals greater choice and are moving swiftly to end discrimination of this kind.

“Older workers bring with them a wealth of talent and experience as employees and entrepreneurs. They have a vital contribution to make to our economic recovery and long-term prosperity.

“We are committed to ensuring employers are given help and support in adapting to the change in regulations.”

The consultation, which is open until 21 October 2010, includes proposals to remove some of the administrative burdens of statutory retirement procedures from employers. The announcement has, however, met with some concerns from employer organisations because of the relatively tight timetable for implementation.  A copy of the consultation can be found at www.bis.gov.uk/retirement-age