More people than ever before are now working past retirement age. Employers do still have the right to enforce retirement on an employee who reaches the age of 65. Although many think it is unfair, this is one rule that does not breach the Age Discrimination Act.
Why Do People Want to Work Past Retirement Age?
One of the main reasons people wish to remain employed during their ‘twilight years’ is inadequate finances. Almost 72% of British workers have no pension plan in place. Working past retirement age is the only financial option for some, especially now that pensions, savings, house prices, and investments are worth less than most people had hoped. At present almost 1.4 million employees in Britain work past the age of state retirement.
What is the State Retirement Age?
In the UK the state retirement age, at present, is 65 for men and 60 for women. This is the age when people can claim their state pension although this age looks set to rise. By 2020 men and women will have the same state retirement age of 65, although this age limit also looks set to rise in the future.
Is the Increase in State Retirement Age a Good Thing?
This all depends on whether or not the employee can afford to retire. There is nothing stopping people retiring at any age they wish as long as they can afford it. The increased retirement age simply means that those who cannot afford it will need to work later into their lives. The increased retirement age will of course depend on the government and the political party in power. The conservative party do want the retirement age for men to be set at 66 by at least the year 2016.
Can I Be Forced to Retire at 65?
Men and women can work past the age of retirement if they wish. However, employers can enforce retirement at the age of 65 even if the employee wishes to continue working. This rule is an exception to the Age Discrimination Act, and no redundancy money is required to be paid from the employer to the employee if retirement is enforced. Employees can make a request to their employers for the right to continue working but it is entirely up to the employer whether or not this is granted.
Why Would an Employer Want to Enforce Retirement?
There are pro’s and con’s for the employer to the right to enforce retirement on employees. Employers may wish to employ younger workers who will work for less money than their older colleagues. On the other hand older workers are seen as more reliable, take less sick days per year and have more employment experience. New employees will also need training, which can cost time and money for the employer.
What Does This Mean for the 65 Year Old Employment Seeker?
Although there is an age discrimination act there is an exception for those aged 65 years old and over who are looking for employment. Employers do have the right to refuse employment to people who are 65 and over. This does not mean that employers will not employ people aged 65 and over. Many employers view this age group as one of the most reliable, experienced, and hardworking sectors in their workforce.
What Age Can I Retire If Retirement is Not Enforced?
The answer to this question is entirely down to the employer and the employee. If the employee is fit and capable and the employer agrees then there is nothing to stop the employee working well into later life. Recent reports have stated that in reality today’s twentysomething employees will need to work until at least the age of 72 in order to receive a decent payout from their pension plans.
Is The Enforced Retirement Age Set to Continue?
At present the 65 year old enforced retirement age does not look like changing. A court in the UK recently ruled that this law be upheld but the court also stated that this law was unsustainable. The government is reviewing this law at present. With a number of active opponents to this law there could be a change to the enforced retirement age somewhere in the future.