There was something of a scrap about compulsory retirement when the government was drafting the age legislation that came in to force in October 2006.
The Employers Forum on Age (EFA) wanted the idea dropped, arguing that putting an arbitrary cap on retirement was going against the spirit of a law designed to remove age discrimination.
In the end, the default retirement age was retained, but employers were permitted to ignore it. However, the government also agreed to review this decision in 2011, meaning the HR community is about two years away from the whole argument resurfacing.
But rather than wait until then, Personnel Today and the EFA are campaigning to bring the issue back under the spotlight now.
"This [decision] was a compromise and we want the government to commit now to abolishing it in 2011," said EFA chief executive Catharine Pusey. "We think it is inevitable that it will happen because of demographic shifts."
People are living longer and there are fewer children being born, which adds up to a strong business driver to keep older people in the workforce for as long as they want to remain there, and are capable of carrying on working..
Making the decision now rather than waiting until 2011 would also allow employers plenty of time to change their policies and practices accordingly, said Pusey.
Removing the default retirement age is a simple matter of consistency, according to Charlotte Sweeney, head of diversity and wellbeing at HBOS.
"We [as a society] are telling people they will have to work longer to support the economy, but then put a limit on it," she said. "It makes no sense at all."
Then there are the business benefits reported by organisations, including HBOS, that have already ditched the age: increased staff retention, experience and knowledge improved morale a wider talent pool and a workforce that more closely reflects its customer base.
B&Q first tested the waters on this issue almost 20 years ago when it opened two stores staffed entirely by ove