This year, the Government is set to review the default retirement age (DRA) of 65 and decide whether it remains “necessary and appropriate”.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 set the default retirement age to 65. Any dismissal before an employee reaches 65 will be unlawful unless the employer can justify such a dismissal on objective grounds, and employees can request to stay beyond the age of 65. Any such request has to be considered by the employer.
However, the DRA is likely to change following the long-running Heyday case. Any new government will have little room to manoeuvre and be left with the option of removing the DRA entirely, or to increase it to an age that is likely to be more justifiable.
Employers might find it more acceptable for the DRA to be increased to whatever the Government determines is a more justifiable age. If this were to happen, then the new DRA could be set at 70, although a DRA of 68 may be more likely given the planned future increase in pensionable age.