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Retirement age change mooted

Retirement age change mooted

Category: Pensions

Updated: 22/01/2010
First Published: 11/01/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
The scrapping of the default retirement age has moved a step closer, after Harriet Harman said she wanted to consign to history the attitude that someone is 'past it' when they reach 65.

At present, employers can force workers to retire at 65 without redundancy pay.

While the employee has the right to request to work beyond this age and employers have a duty to consider the request, no justification for refusal is needed.

However, a fast-track government review of the retirement age could clear the path for people to work later into life if they want to.

Emma Soames of Saga welcomed the move, calling the default retirement age an anachronism.

"In 21st century Britain the number of people who either cannot afford to retire or who do not want to is increasing all the time," she added. "However our welcome is tempered by caution: it will be vital to introduce flexibility for both employers and employees."

Meanwhile, John Lawson, head of pensions policy at Standard Life, said its own research supported the idea that people's attitude to retirement had fundamentally changed, and now had greater ambitions for the 'third stage' of their lives than ever before.

"For this generation, rather than seeing retirement as a way of stopping work, two fifths want to continue to be involved at work but on their own terms," he added.

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