Your Views on the Default Retirement Age

Now that the Government has confirmed that the default retirement age is being phased out, employers will need to decide whether to retain a specific retirement age (referred to as an employer justified retirement age) or not.

The article Managing without the Default Retirement Age has further information on the transitional arrangements, and includes a useful flowchart.

We would also be grateful if you could take a few moments to answer the following questions.   This will help us understand where employers are in relation to the abolition of default retirement age, and assist us in providing further advice on this issue.

[contact-form subject=”Default Retirement Age Questionnaire” to=”chris.terry@blackadders.co.uk”]
[contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” /]
[contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” /]
[contact-field label=”Does your business have an existing fixed retirement age?” type=”select” options=”Please select,Yes,No” /]
[contact-field label=”If yes, do you intend to retain this?” type=”select” options=”Please select,Yes,No” /]
[contact-field label=”Will it be compulsory (i.e. you will dismiss employees at that age)?” type=”select” options=”Please select,Yes,No” /]
[contact-field label=”Will it be voluntarily (i.e. employees may choose to leave at that age)?” type=”select” options=”Please select,Yes,No” /]
[contact-field label=”Do you intend to have no fixed retirement age?” type=”select” options=”Please select,Yes,No” /]
[contact-field label=”Please add any comments you would like to make about the abolition of the default retirement age” type=”textarea” /]
[/contact-form]

Thank you

End of the Default Retirement Age

Under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (and now the Equality Act 2010) employers have the right to impose retirement on employees who are aged 65 or over.   There are no adverse consequences for the employer, provided the correct procedure is followed.

This right is going to disappear from April 2011.   There will however be transitional arrangements so that provided due notice has been given, employers will be able to impose retirement up to 30 September 2011.

In effect this means that employers have a window of opportunity which will close at the end of March 2011 to impose retirement on employees aged 65 or over.   Thereafter, the dismissal of an employee aged 65 or over will have to be justified on one of the potentially fair grounds for dismissal (conduct, capability, redundancy or some other substantial reason).

While employers may be glad to retain the skills of employees who have passed their normal retirement age, it would be prudent to check payroll records to establish whether there are any employees who are already 65 or are approaching that age where the employer may want to take advantage of the present law to terminate employment by reason of retirement.

If you would like more information about this, please contact sandy.meiklejohn@blackadders.co.uk or simon.allison@blackadders.co.uk

Sandy Meiklejohn
Partner & Accredited Employment Law Specialist