The DWP has published a consultation paper which sets out the responses to the consultation document “Flexible Retirement and Pension Provision”(pdf)(108KB) published on 1 October 2007 and seeks views on the next steps, including the possibility of further regulation to facilitate the provision of flexible retirement.  

The Government recognises that the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (the Age Regulations) continue to cause uncertainty. It states that it wishes to promote fairness and not to set impossible standards and recognises that flexible retirement policies are a vital part of achieving the long-term aim of an 80 per cent employment rate. This, it says, could be facilitated by offering key benefits to employers to retain skilled, productive workers and giving individuals the opportunity to stay active.  

The DWP seeks to consult on its proposals for the following amendments to the Age Regulations:  

  • to add a wide statutory exemption for all pensions rules and practices linked to flexible retirement ages to those exemptions already listed at Schedule 2; and
  • to allow occupational pension schemes not to provide death in service benefits in respect of members in flexible retirement arrangements.  

These exemptions would be permissive, not mandatory.  

The draft amending regulations define a flexible retirement arrangement as an arrangement between a member and his employer under which the member either:  

  • reduces his working hours; or
  • the grade he holds  

after becoming eligible to receive all or part of the age-related benefits under an occupational pension scheme.  

The consultation period ends on 10 March 2009.  

View the consultation paper and the draft amending regulations. (pdf)(498KB)