Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Call to scrap forced retirement

Most people want the Government to scrap forced retirement immediately, according to a new report

Most people want the Government to scrap forced retirement immediately, believing firms should not be allowed to make staff stop work when they reached a certain age, according to a new report.

A survey of more than 1,000 adults for Age UK showed more than two thirds thought the principle of forced retirement was wrong.

The charity called on ministers to end "speculation and confusion" among employers and workers about the so-called default retirement age by setting a date for the abolition of forced retirement.

Age UK said tens of thousands of workers were forced to retire last year, causing an estimated loss of £3.5 billion in economic output.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: "The default retirement age is a hugely unpopular law which is well past its sell-by date.

"Forcing people in later life out of the labour market when they want to work, save for their pensions and pay taxes is nonsense. It makes a mockery of the Government's plans to help people work longer.

"A clear commitment to scrapping forced retirement next April is needed to end speculation and confusion among employers and employees alike. It would show how the Government was making freedom and fairness a reality for many people in later life who are denied that opportunity."

Age UK said Tuesday's Budget offered ministers the opportunity to say "loud and clear" when they were going to abolish "forced" retirement.