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Default Retirement Age to end this year

  • Published: Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Default Retirement Age (DRA) will be phased out between 6 April and 1 October 2011. The change gives people the freedom to continue working for longer and should also provide a boost to the UK economy.

Choosing when to retire

Losing your job after 50

Changes to age discrimination for over 50s and your rights if you've lost your job

At the moment, employers can make staff retire at 65 even if they are fit, healthy and can still do the job.

But with people living longer and healthier lives, the government wants to give people greater freedom in deciding when to retire.

Between 6 April and 1 October 2011 the DRA will be gradually phased out.

The last day employees can be compulsorily retired using the DRA will be 30 September. This means that the last day to provide the six months’ notice required under the DRA will be 30 March 2011.

Employers can still use the DRA between 30 March and 6 April, but will have to use the ‘short notice provisions’. Under these an employee could claim compensation (subject to a maximum of eight weeks’ wages).

Between 6 April and 30 September, only people who were notified before 6 April, and whose retirement date is before 1 October, can be compulsorily retired.

From 1 October, employers will not be able to use the DRA to compulsorily retire employees.

There will still be exceptions to these new rules, however. Employers may continue to have a compulsory retirement age, but must be able to prove it is justified if challenged at an Employment Tribunal.

A detailed explanation of how the removal of the DRA may affect you is available on the Acas website.

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