Default retirement age should be abolished, say two-thirds of people

More than two-thirds of people want to see the government abolish the default retirement age (DRA) of 65.

A survey of 1,011 people found 70% think it is wrong to let employers make their staff stop working when they reach a set age.

The government has already pledged to “phase out” the DRA, but the charity Age UK has called on ministers to end confusion by setting out in the Budget this week a clear date for its abolition in April.

The charity said £3.5bn had been wasted in 2009 because tens of thousands of workers were forced to retire because they turned 65.

Age UK said enabling people to stay in their jobs would create additional tax revenue for the government and reduces employers’ pensions liabilities, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: “The default retirement age is a hugely unpopular law which is well past its sell-by date.

“Forcing people in later life out of the labour market when they want to work, save for their pensions and pay taxes is nonsense. It makes a mockery of the government’s plans to help people work longer.

“A clear commitment to scrapping forced retirement next April is needed to end speculation and confusion among employers and employees alike. It would show how the government was making freedom and fairness a reality for many people in later life who are denied that opportunity.”

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