A High Court challenge to the mandatory retirement age of 65 means there could be trouble ahead for the government.
After months of consultation and wranglings at the highest levels, the new age laws have already been labelled as incompatible with the EU legislation they aim to implement.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 bring into force the age-related provisions of the European Equal Treatment Directive.
But Heyday, a membership group for baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1957), has been granted a judicial review of the regulations before the High Court, challenging the mandatory retirement age (MRA), which allows employers to force workers to retire at 65 without giving any reason.
Ailsa Ogilvie, director of Heyday, said the government was sending a stark to over-65s - that "they are not worth having in the workplace".
"People want the choice to continue to work, but they don't want to feel they are being given their P45 on the basis of their birth certificate," she told Personnel Today.
You can see why Heyday is upset. Most people believe the age regulations are designed to protect them against discrimination in their old age. Unfortunately, they are in for a shock. For the first time, employers have a cast-iron excuse to discriminate against those aged 65 and over - and there's nothing retirees can do about it.
This situation seems to run contrary to the EU legislation, which says "any direct or indirect discrimination based on age... should be prohibited throughout the [EU] community".
Where the confusion arises is article six of the directive, which adds that EU member states may effectively discriminate on grounds of age if, "within the context of national law, they are objectively and reasonably justifying a legitimate aim... and if the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary". Then add the fact that "the directive shall be without prejudice to national provisions laying down retirement ages", and the lawyers have really got something to get their teeth into.
So just what is a legitimate aim, and did the UK already have national retirement ages? And what are the chances the government has mucked it all up?
The Department for Trade and Industry would only say that "the government is confident that the [age] regulations implement the directive correctly", and points out the MRA