Default Retirement Age evidence sought ahead of government review

The government has called on employers to explain how they use the default retirement age (DRA) ahead of a review next year.

In July the government announced that the review of the DRA, currently at 65, would be moved forward a year to 2010. It is widely expected the government will seek to raise or remove the DRA, after the High Court ruled there was a “compelling” case to do so.

The government is seeking information on the operation of the DRA in practice, why employers use mandatory retirement ages, the impact that raising or removing the DRA would have on employers, and how the costs associated with moving or scrapping the DRA could be mitigated.

Business minister Pat McFadden said: “The default retirement age is a subject that employees, the business community, trade unions and charities all have a strong interest in. We want to receive information from all of these parties as it is important that our review is based on robust, detailed and wide-ranging evidence.”

Angela Eagle, minister for pensions and the ageing society, added: “As people live and work for longer, it is sensible that we have the debate on what works for business and individuals. The laws around employment and retirement need to reflect changes in economic and social circumstances.”

The DRA was introduced in 2006 through the Employment Equality Regulations and enables employers to require that all staff retire at 65, regardless of their circumstances.

In total, 1.3 million people still choose to work beyond state pension age.

Submissions have to be made by 1 February 2010 and can be e-mailed to and/or posted to DRA Evidence, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, V497, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET.

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