Currently there is no legal retirement age meaning that employees can choose when they stop working. 

Employers were once permitted to force their employees to retire at the age of 65, which was at the time known as the default retirement age. This conduct was scrapped in April 2011, following a campaign undertaken by Age UK. 

In essence what this really means is that an employee is able to work, should they choose to after the age of 65.  It was considered that many employees did not hold the desire to stop working just because they had reached a certain age.  

It is now increasingly difficult for an employer to ask an employee to retire from their employment unless they can establish that it can be objectively justified. 

In order to establish objective justification the employer must be able to demonstrate:

Legitimate Aim

This is simply an objective that is set such as encouraging and developing the younger workforce.

Proportionate Means

This is effectively the employer’s justification of achieving the legitimate aim, such as it would be a requirement to set a compulsory retirement age to allow diversity.

It may still be common in roles which require a certain level of mental or physical ability to require a compulsory retirement age so long as the tests above are met. 

Your employer may ask you about your potential retirement plans or indeed how long you propose to continue working.  In such a situation you are not obliged to inform your employer if you do not wish to engage in such communications. 

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an 'employee' if the reason is connected to or because of a compulsory retirement age that cannot be legitimately justified. 

Examples of this could be:

  • refused employment and/or a promotion on the basis of your age

  • being forced to leave your role simply because you have reached 65

  • being demoted from your role because you have reached 65

  • being forced to vary your terms of employment (if without justification) because you have reached 65.

With offices in Leicester and Market Harborough we are willing to discuss any legal issues surrounding your retirement with you. Lawson-West are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding you circumstances and potential claim.  If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 01162121000 or 01858445480.