Government brings forward review of default retirement age

IIt now appears unlikely that default retirement age will be scrapped by the “Hey day” case brought by Help the Aged and Age concern.. The hearing deferred to UK courts following direction by the European Court of Justice is due to commence on the 20th July, with a judgement to follow in the autumn.  The ECJ ruled Default retirement age policies were legal for member states if it had a legitimate aim related to employment and social policy. It was a major blow for campaigners who had hoped that the ECJ would see default retirement as a breach of the equal treatment directive.

Some 260 Tribunal cases are awaiting the final outcome of the case, but with the government announcing that ii will bring forward its review of the default retirement age, its unlikely the UK courts will set a precedent.  There is an outside chance the courts could rule against the default retirement age being legitimate in relation to employment and social policy. The logic seems to make sense, we have an ageing population which we cannot afford the up keep of, it’s hard to see what social or economic benefit the default retirement policy gives society at present.

The review of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) will be brought forward to take place next year.  1.3m people choose to work beyond state pension age, and many more say they would work past 65 if their employer permitted it. The Government had previously promised to review the DRA in 2011 to see if it was still needed, but Ministers have brought the review forward to respond to changing demographic and economic circumstances.

Speaking about the Default Retirement Age, Minister for Pensions and the Ageing Society Angela Eagle said;

“It is time to look again at this. Some people prefer to take early retirement, others prefer to keep working. We want to give older people flexible retirement options. The Government is responding to the changed economic landscape.  The different circumstances today - for businesses, and for individuals coming up to retirement - suggest that an earlier review is appropriate. As Britain's demographics change, it is sensible that we have the debate on what works for business and individuals. The retirement laws need to reflect modern social and economic circumstances.”

posted by

Asif Yusuf



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