Age Discrimination Legislation

Retirement – prevent wastage

“By 2011, 35% of the population will be aged over 55 and 18% will be aged between 45 and 55.”

Source – Office for National Statistics

Many employers have rejected compulsory retirement ages, allowing employees to work for as long as they are able to. This doesn’t mean forcing people to work longer – it means giving them the choice.

So-called “cliff-edge” retirement, where people go straight from full-time employment to full retirement, is a problem for both employees and employers. To maintain staff morale and avoid losing valuable skills, make sure that retirement schemes:

  • are applied fairly;
  • are flexible; and
  • take account of individual and business needs.

Have you:

  • agreed a fair and consistent retirement policy with employees;
  • set up mentoring schemes where employees approaching retirement coach younger employees, so that key skills and knowledge are not lost;
  • taken account of the different types of pension provision1;
  • considered flexible2 or extended retirement options, for example, part-time working, job sharing, downshifting, sabbaticals, secondments and volunteering;
  • offered employees support before they retire (counselling and workshops); and
  • offered retired employees the option of being invited back as casual workers?

Note 1: You should should get advice from a pensions administrator or consultant, The Pension Service or the Pensions Schemes Office of the Inland Revenue.

Note 2: For more information, see the Department for Work and Pensions publication “Flexible Retirement – A Snapshot of Large Employers’ Initiatives”.

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