Should the default retirement age of 65 be removed?
Catharine Pusey, Interim chief executive, Employers Forum on Age (EFA)
Yes, the EFA believes the default retirement age should be removed. Not only is it discriminatory to ask someone to leave their job simply because they've reached a certain age, it's bad for business, bad for the individual and bad for the economy.
Neil Carberry, Head of employment policy, CBI
We think it should stay. Essentially the default retirement age creates a situation where at approaching 65 the employee and employer can sit down and discuss the available options. This means the employee gets to request working on if that's what they want to do and the employer has an opportunity to assess what they have to offer.
What will happen if it is removed?
Catharine Pusey Workers over 65 have much to contribute, and enjoy the challenges and interaction working life provides. As people now start families at a later age, many workers still have mortgages to pay and dependants to provide for when they reach 65, so have an economic need to continue working. Most people collecting their pensions now will have over a third of their lives ahead of them. It is simply unsustainable for the economy to support this and keeping more people in employment helps to keep the dependency ratio in check. Many employers use retirement as a way to solve performance issues. We believe that all performance issues, at any age, can and should be managed through robust performance management programmes.
Neil Carberry The problem with getting rid of it is you create a difficult position from a manpower planning point of view - particularly for smaller organisations (SMEs). It also causes problems for succession planning. Most importantly, it would remove a fairly dignified way for people to leave the workforce. If someone is not performing at 63 or 64 and has been there for 20 years, often the employer will say: "This person has given me years of good service but is not performing quite so well now, but as they're only a year or so away from retirement we'll let them retire." Remove the default retirement age and you will see a significant upswing in disciplinary dismissals because there will be no other choice.
Should firms be encouraged to employ older workers?
Catharine Pusey Firms need to be encouraged to s