Default Retirement Age abolished

Employees cannot be dismissed purely on age grounds alone following the abolition of the Default Retirement Age.

From 1st October 2011 the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 removed the right of employers to forcibly retire older workers once they reach the age of 65.

Previously employers could force their employees to retire at the age of 65. Employees could request to stay on after this age but employers could legally refuse requests if they wished to.

The implementation of the legislation marks the completion of the phasing out of the retirement age which began in April when employers were no longer able to issue notifications for compulsory retirement using the DRA procedure.

Employees will now be able to decide at what age they want to retire, unless they are dismissed for another legal reason. If employers still want to enforce retirement, their decisions will have to be objectively justified, but workers can no longer be forced to retire on the grounds of age alone.

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