New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that, unsurprisingly, the average age at which men and woman retire has increased in recent years.

The report says that the average age for retirement in men in 2009 was 64.5 which was an increase from 63.8 years in 2004. For the same time period the age for women workers rose from 61.2 to 62 years.

A report on the BBC website says that the figures are likely to keep rising due to the rise in the state pension age over the next few years and I suspect that the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) will also have a significant impact on the age of retirement.

It is proposed at the moment that the state pension age for women will rise to 65 by 2018 with a further increase for both men and women to 66 by 2020.

These figures are another reminder that employers need to be vigilant and aware of potential age discrimination issues, as well as being fully prepared for the effect that the abolition of the DRA will have, particularly on small employers. Remember that 5 April 2011 is the last day for commencing the statutory retirement procedure provided that the retirement date (65) is before 1 October.