Employees able to work longer as default retirement age is phased out

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The Independent Online

Sexagenerians and those who wish to work beyond the age of 65 were dealt a victory last week when ministers confirmed plans to phase out the default retirement age this year.

The change means employers will no longer have the right to sack staff on the grounds of age alone when they reach age 65, allowing older people to remain in paid employment longer.

The decision is a boon to those approaching retirement and who are expected to live for longer than ever according to the latest research. Increased longevity means consumers will need to build up substantially larger pensions than in previous decades to see themselves through prolonged retirement without falling into poverty.

Department for Work and Pensions statistics released this month showed that 10 million Britons will live to become centenarians including more than 7,000 who will reach 110.

However, it may still be possible for some employers to operate a compulsory retirement age if they are able to justify it. Employees who could, in theory, be affected by this could include air traffic controllers and police officers.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the legal change will remove the administrative burden of statutory requirement procedures. With the default age abolished, there will be no reason to keep employees' "right to request" forms working beyond retirement or for employers to give them a minimum of six months' notice.

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