New government plans will set a default retirement age of 65 in 2006, as well as creating a right for employees to request working beyond a compulsory retirement age, which employers will have a duty to consider.
The Government also said it would monitor the appropriateness of keeping a retirement age, subjecting it to formal review five years from implementation.
Currently, employers can set whatever retirement age they like, with many workers being retired at 60.
However, Dianah Worman, CIPD diversity adviser, said: “Although this decision has been dressed up as a clever compromise, in reality it simply delays the inevitable end of mandatory retirement ages.
“There are still employers who use mandatory retirement ages as a cover for poor management. Effective management of people ensures that people who perform well are retained and people who do not are managed or removed,” she said.