Government Lays New Amending Regulations to Repeal the Default Retirement Age

Following some confusion over the Amending Regulations laid before Parliament on 16 February, the Government has now laid new Amending Regulations to repeal the default retirement age.

The amending Regulations address the anomaly that the transitional arrangements, as originally drafted, did not apply to employees who have already reached retirement age before 6 April and to whom employers may have already legitimately issued notifications of retirement.  This was not the Government’s intention and the amending Regulations rectify the position.

At the same time, the Government has taken the opportunity to address some concerns about the extent to which the DRA can continue to apply to individuals after 30 September 2011.  The original draft Regulations are clear that no one who reaches retirement age after 30 September can be retired using the DRA.  However, the transitional arrangements do provide flexibility so that a notification of retirement of between six and twelve months can be given before 6 April 2011, and an extension of up to six months can be agreed using the ‘right to request’ procedure.  The amending Regulations clarify that the latest possible retirement date that can be set using the DRA procedure in this way is 5 October 2012.

The date of 5 October 2012 is new and represents a somewhat embarrassing extension of the life of the Default Retirement Age. However, since it will only apply where someone has been informed that they would be forcibly retired on the 5th April 2012 following a 12 months period of notice, and who then, following an appeal, has won an extension of six months, it is likely to involve a very small number of people.

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