The default retirement age (DRA) will be phased out from 6 April 2011. From this date notices of compulsory retirement will be unlawful, other than where there is an employer justified retirement age
Transitional arrangements will apply from 6 April 2011 where a retirement process has beeninitiated. Acas has provided the following guidance regarding the transitional arrangements:“Under the DRA employers must give a minimum of six months notice of retirement but no more than 12 months notice. Retirements notified on or before 5 April 2011 can continue through to completion provided that the following conditions are met: The DRA procedure, as set out in the previous Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, is followed correctly (including the employee’s right to request to stay on is given serious
consideration by the employer)
The person retiring reaches 65 or the normal retirement age (if this is higher) before 1 October 2011. Therefore an employee must be 65 by the 30 September if they are to be retired using the DRA.”
Employers will not be able to issue notifications of retirement using the DRA after5 April 2011. Request to remain working (applies up to and during transition period but then becomes obsolete)
If you are 65 on or before 30 September 2011 and have been told that you must retire at a date up to 5 April 2012, you have the right to request to remain working beyond 65. Your employer must consider that request and give you a response, then if you wish you may appeal but the employer will have the final say. Your employer may extend your employment by up to a further six months following such a request and still force your retirement. Such extended notice could take you up to 5 October 2012. This will be absolutely the last date on which enforced retirement is still possible under the default retirement age.
Forced retirement after 6 April 2011
Any enforced retirement taking effect after 6 April 2011 will have to be objectively justified unless notice has been given before the 6 April. In this case it will be allowed to continueunder the phasing in arrangements. The legal tests for objective justification (see Glossary) will be hard to meet and most employers will do without a mandatory retirement age in future.
Default retirement age taking effect beyond 30 September 2011
In some circumstances during the phasing in arrangements, individuals may be given longer notice of retirement, meaning retirement takes effect after 30 September 2011. Providing a retirement notice is given on or before 5 April 2011 and you reach 65 before 30 September 2011, such a later retirement date can be set – up to 5 April 2012.
Other employment rights
Once you have passed the age of 65 your rights as an employee will in most respects be no different from your rights below 65. You will have the right to protection from unfair dismissal and entitlements to redundancy pay and any of the other employment rights
given by statute law or in your employment contract. However some benefits, such as life and health insurance, may not be offered beyond age 65.You will have the right not to be discriminated against because of your age when you are looking for a job. Discrimination may be hard to prove in practice but employers and recruitment agencies will no longer be able to discard your application just because you are within six months of your 65th birthday, as they have been allowed to until now.
Please note that this is the position currently proposed, but it is still possible the legislation may be amended as it goes through the Parliamentary process.
All information taken from a joint TAEN /Saga report