Default retirement age to be scrapped

The Coalition Government plans to scrap the default retirement age of 65 from October 2011, allowing people to work beyond that age if they choose.  Employers will not be allowed to dismiss staff simply because they’re 65 years old.
As the BBC reports:

Business group, the CBI, criticised the speed of the proposed changes saying it left firms “with many unresolved problems”.

The government’s timetable to scrap the default retirement age would give companies little time to prepare, it added.

However Rachel Krys of the Employers Forum on Age was delighted, saying it was “really unfair” that people had been forced out of jobs because of their age.

“We have to stop these blunt discriminators,” she added.

The charity Age UK, which has led the campaign to end the default retirement age, welcomed the government’s plan.

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  • Christine Headley 29th Jul '10 - 7:26pm

    More jobs not going to the young. All those young graduates, up to here in debt, under- or unemployed, while the golden oldies add more and more to their pension pots. Given that it has been difficult for young people to find jobs for a couple of years and so many jobs that are suitable for school leavers are going to graduates, the timing of this idea is unfortunate.

  • Patrick Smith 29th Jul '10 - 8:24pm

    The rights of individual employees in any job to choose as to whether they want to work past 65, without being forced to retire at the default age line is important for a number of good reasons.

    1. Individuals should have the individual employee rights to choose and not be laid off by companies and employers if they themselves choose to continue working and are deemed competent.

    2.The BBC report points out that merely because the age retirement line i.e. 65 years is removed, there is no evidence across the EU at the moment that people are actually choosing to work longer, if that work option exists..

    3.The ratio of 1 worker for each retiree is expected to close to 1-2 in 30 years and thus if this demographic does n`t change, will undoubtedly place a much greater burden on those younger persons in work,in future years,who will have to pay taxes to keep greater numbers of older people,including their own parents and grandparents.

    4.Surely,it is also important for Government to encourage `Healthy Lifestyles’ and greater mobility and leisure pursuits and improved pensions for over 65 year olds and the rising over 80 year olds.

    5.The vaster number of retirees able or free to choose to retire in good health, will likely remain proportionately greater then those remaining actively part of the workforce in the future but individual choice or necessity without choice, is the key component in the matter..

  • Andrew Duffield 29th Jul '10 - 8:54pm

    Liberalism in action surely? Next stop, a Citizen’s pension, followed – ideally – by a Citizen’s Income, replacing all tax allowances and welfare benefits. Choice, freedom, equality. This is good news.

  • Malcolm Wood 29th Jul '10 - 8:56pm

    Somewhat bizarrely, the front page of the Daily Express today screams “Workers can be forced to retire at 65”. It’s possible that they’ve only just noticed.

  • I think the second comment is unduly dismissive of the concerns and interests of young people. While I agree that this change is important from a liberal perspective as well as in terms of encouraging a shift towards working longer that will probably be necessary as our population shifts (personally I don’t see why we can’t just encourage immigration, but that’s by the by), we do need to accept that in the short- and medium- term this is going to have a detrimental effect on young people, who are already suffering most from the recession. As a young, unemployed person myself, I need to be hearing that this concern is understood, and that efforts will be taken to mitigate it’s effect.

  • This is marvellous news. A major human rights deficit has been removed, and not before time (the USA got rid of its mandatory scrapheap age in the 1980s). I think future generations will regard this decision in much the same light as the enfranchisement of women, the passing of the Race Relations Act, the legalisation of homosexual conduct, the abolition of the death penalty, etc. Given the presence of two cabinet ministers who have passed the mandatory scrapheap age, it would have been very hypocritical of the Coalition government not to take this action. The Labour government had two opportunities to do this, and funked it twice, under pessure from big business who see it as a loss of opportunity to employ cheap labour. Nonetheless, I think a Labour government would have got round to it eventually. Forcing millions to live in extreme poverty is surely not what socialism is about.

  • Brian Moyle 31st Jul '10 - 6:17pm

    It is high time discrimination such as the default retirement age is scrapped. However, to ensure that there is no no unfair advantage for an employee who is working beyond 65, compared to those who are not sixty five, we should ensure that those continuing beyond sity five continue to pay full national insurance contributions. And to put reticent employers in a more positive mood about these changes, perhaps the employer should not contribute to N.I. for those over sixy five.

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