CBI warns of bitter response to scrapping retirement age

The
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says scrapping the retirement age risks
making people who wish to retire bitter – leading to a costly surge of
employment tribunal cases.

Ministers
are considering removing the retirement age as part of a package of proposals
on age discrimination.

The
CBI said that unfair discrimination based on age is unacceptable, but that the
current retirement system enables individuals to retire with dignity rather
than in conflict.

Rather
than a unilateral right for staff to stay in employment after 65, the CBI said
flexibility must be encouraged so staff can discuss earlier or later retirement
to meet their individual choices and pensions concerns.

CBI
director general Digby Jones said: "Both employers and employees need flexibility
to reach a consensus on retirement. Neither party should have to maintain an
employment relationship longer than they want to.

"UK
firms already have the third highest participation of older workers in the EU
and removing the normal retirement age would go far beyond the retirement
arrangements of many European countries."

By Michael Millar

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