01/11 Abolition of the Default Retirement Age

Employment alert email

Thursday 13 January 2011

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has (predictably) confirmed the Government's intention to abolish the default retirement age (the "DRA") of 65 from 1 October 2011 (with transitional arrangements commencing on 6 April 2011).

The significance for employers is as follows:

  • After 6 April 2011 employers will no longer be permitted to issue any new notices of intended retirement using the current statutory retirement procedure.
  • Employers will only be able to retire employees compulsorily using the current statutory retirement procedure between 6 April and 1 October 2011 if the employee has received a notice of intended retirement before 6 April 2011 and if their retirement date is before 1 October 2011.

In spite of the abolition of the DRA, employers will still be able to adopt a compulsory retirement age if they can objectively justify it. The Government has also confirmed that where an employer stops providing group insured benefits to employees aged 65 and over, this will not, in itself, be age discriminatory.