Nationwide building society extends its retirement age to 75

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Nationwide, the UK's largest building society, yesterday became the UK's first major employer to extend its compulsory retirement age to 75, allowing its employees the flexibility to continue working well beyond the limit of 65 which most companies enforce.

Nationwide, the UK's largest building society, yesterday became the UK's first major employer to extend its compulsory retirement age to 75, allowing its employees the flexibility to continue working well beyond the limit of 65 which most companies enforce.

The move comes before new Government legislation being introduced this autumn, which will stop companies compulsorily retiring their employees before 65 and will force them to consider applications from members of staff who request to work for longer.

Jeremy del Strother, Nationwide's director of personnel and development, said: "This new approach to flexible retirement benefits both our employees and the organisation. The Society and Nationwide Group Staff Union are committed to diversity and recognise the valuable contribution older employees make to the business.

"Research has shown there is a strong correlation between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and the success of any business. We have found that older employees help increase the levels of satisfaction amongst our customers. We also know that some employees wish to continue working beyond the normal retirement age, so have enhanced our policies to support those employees, giving them more choice over when they want to retire."

Nationwide, which employs 16,000 staff in the UK, was recently voted as the best large company to work for. It said about 12 per cent of its workforce is over 50.

Tim Poil, the general secretary of Nationwide Group Staff Union, said: "We have been working with Nationwide for some time on ways to enhance opportunities for older workers. I am delighted that this has resulted in these innovative and pioneering developments."

The TUC said it welcomed the news, adding it hoped other businesses would follow Nationwide's lead. Its general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "Nationwide has been forward thinking enough to realise the benefits that come from employing older workers. I hope other businesses... begin to see the forthcoming age equality regulations as an opportunity, not a threat."

Adrian Thomas, a spokesman for Help the Aged, said the idea of people retiring at 60 or 65 was now outdated. "As the population ages, more and more companies will have to give serious consideration to their own policies on retirement," he said.

"Help the Aged now hopes the Government itself will also accept that mandatory retirement ages should be consigned to the dustbin and instead allow older workers the flexibility to choose their own retirement date."

Comments