The Government has confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 will be abolished as from 1 October 2011. In respect of employees whose retirement date is before 1 October 2011, using the current provisions which ensure the retirement dismissal cannot be treated as unfair, 30 March will be the last date to serve notice so as to allow the necessary 6 months notice of retirement. If that date is missed, the short notice provisions may still provide some relief but the employee may be able to claim some compensation
After 1 October, employers will only be able to operate a compulsory retirement policy if it can be objectively justified. Just what will amount to justification remains to be seen. In any event, it will be worthwhile for employers to ensure they address, and encourage employees to address, future plans for retirement and as a back up ensure that transparent performance monitoring procedures are in place and followed.