According to yesterday’s announcement on the ACAS website, the transitional arrangements for the abolition of the default retirement age are going to be slightly different from those announced previously. Last month’s response to consultation suggested that the notice of retirement needed to be given before 6 April and expire before 1 October this year in order to fall within the current regime, which exempts compulsory retirement from the legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds of age.

Although we will not have a definite answer until the necessary regulations are published, it now looks as if there will be a longer transitional period, running theoretically to 5 April 2012. Under the current rules a maximum of 12 months’ notice of retirement can be given, and under these amended transitional arrangements such notices delivered before 6 April will be allowed to run their course. But that is subject to the proviso that the employee reaches 65 before 1 October 2011, and that all the other requirements currently attached to the exemption (such as the duty to consider procedures) are met. If this remains the position when the regulations are published, employers will not now need to reconsider notices which have already been given to those who will be 65 before 1 October 2011.