Hertfordshire County Council scraps retirement age

Hertfordshire County Council has scrapped its staff retirement age following the introduction of age discrimination laws this month.

Its policy had stipulated a retirement age of 65, although employees could request consideration to continue working until 70. The council currently has 459 members of staff over the age of 65.

The council’s cabinet voted on Monday in favour of the changes, which were proposed after consultation with managers, HR and the staff union Unison.

There were also other retirement policies in operation across the council, such as those that relate to ‘pension ages’ for particular groups, such as teachers and firefighters.

Because pension age and retirement age will not necessarily need to be the same under the new laws, the cabinet agreed now was a good time to bring in one policy for the whole council.

Robert Gordon, executive member for performance and resources, said: “If people are willing and able to continue working past 65 then they should be allowed to. The experience and expertise they bring to their departments should not be lost because of an arbitrary age limit that everyone reaches in a different way.”

A cabinet report said the new policy should help recruitment and retention, particularly in areas that struggle at the moment, such as retained firefighters, social workers and school kitchen staff.

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