Default retirement age

The government has confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 for both men and women is to be abolished. Employers need to be aware of this change and the impact it will have on working practices.

Acas have produced a guide on working without the DRA which is available at the link below.

The following is an extract from the introduction from the Acas guidance:

'The default retirement age (DRA) is being phased out over a transitional period running until 30 September 2011. Details will be set out in Regulations coming into force on 6 April 2011. The last day employees can be compulsorily retired using the DRA is 30 September 2011, so the last day to provide six months' notice required by the DRA provisions is therefore 30 March 2011.

Employers can still use the DRA between 30 March 2011 and before 6 April 2011 but if they do so they must use the short notice provisions, under which an employee could claim compensation (subject to a maximum of eight weeks' wages). Employers will not be able to issue new notifications of retirement using the DRA on or after 6 April 2011.

Transitional arrangements for phasing out the DRA

During the transitional period, retirements that were already in train can continue through to completion, provided that:

  • a notification of impending retirement was issued by the employer prior to 6 April 2011
  • a late notification is issued between 30 March 2011 and 5 April 2011
  • the date of retirement falls before 1 October 2011
  • the DRA procedure, as set out in the previous Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, is followed correctly (including the employee's right to request to stay on is given serious consideration by the employer); and
  • the other requirements of the former DRA procedure are met (eg the person is 65 or over; or is the employers' normal retirement age if this is higher than 65).

Retirements using the DRA will cease completely on 1 October 2011.'

Internet link: Acas guidance

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