As covered in earlier briefings, the default retirement age will be abolished with effect from 6 April 2011. Our recommendation is that as from that date employees should be notified that any retirement age provisions in their contracts of employment and associated documentation should be removed unless there are strong reasons for retaining a retirement age. It is expected that such cases will be rare and will need to be objectively justifiable.
In the meantime, there has been some confusion over the transitional provisions which will apply. Amended draft regulations (the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 have been published which provide for a 12 month transitional period. For the transitional provisions to apply:
- Notice of intended retirement must have been issued on or before 5 April 2011
- The employee must have reached the age of 65 (or any higher normal retirement age) on or by 30 September 2011
- The requirements of the statutory retirement procedure must have been met.
The draft regulations set out the last date on which an employee may make a request to work beyond retirement as 4 January 2012. A request must be submitted between 3 and 6 months before the intended retirement date. Any extension granted by an employer must be for 6 months or less and the last date on which any such extension can expire is six months after 5 April 2012, ie 5 October 2012.