Forced retirement scraped

Moves to stop workers being forced
to retire at 65 in England, Scotland and Wales are to go ahead.

Employment relations minister Ed
Davey said the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) was “great
news for older people, great news for business and great news for the
economy”.

He added older workers “have a
lot to offer in the workplace and it’s time we got rid of this outdated form of
age discrimination”.

Mr Davey dismissed claims the plan
will make it more difficult for young people to find jobs.

The measure will be phased in
between April and October to give employers time to adjust.

Previously employers could legally
force someone to retire at 65 as long as they follow a certain procedure.

Ministers see the move as a way of
tackling age discrimination and reinforcing the value older employees can bring
to workplaces.

Charities including Age UKcampaigned against the
“arbitrary and unfair” law and argued people over the age of 65 can
still contribute to the economy.

But business leaders have
criticised the move, saying it will reduce employers’ flexibility.

A proposal to phase out the current
policy was included in the Coalition Agreement published by the Conservatives
and the Liberal Democrats last year.

The Government began a consultation
process in July which ended in October.

The announcement coincides with the
publication of the Pensions Bill, which includes raising the state pension to
66, as announced by the Chancellor in last year’s spending review.

Companies are also to be required
to enrol their staff in pension schemes automatically – a move expected to
force employers to reduce their contributions for existing members.

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