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Default retirement age could be scrapped

Government is bringing forward plans that could see an end to defined retirement ages.

The default retirement age review, which was tabled for 2011, has been brought forward to next year. It could bring an end to the default age of 65, at which employers can currently force staff into retirement.

Pensions Minister Angela Eagle says:
 “It is time to look again at this – we want to give older people flexible retirement options. The different circumstances today suggest that an earlier review is appropriate. As Britain’s demographics change, it is sensible that we have the debate on what works for business and individuals.”

Watson Wyatt head of defined benefit pension consulting John Ball says: “It’s by no means the case that all employers enforce mandatory retirement ages. One in 10 men over 65 are still in work, and this number was rising sharply until the recession stopped even the biggest employment growth areas in their tracks.”

Ball says the Government may even force employers to keep people from retirement as the closure of final salary pension schemes accelerate and the State Pension becomes more strained.

He also warns that more people will have to carry on working beyond retirement age for money rather than for the love of working.

He says: “In the long term this could make employers more willing to provide good quality pensions and more nervous about taking on older workers who have little by way of pension provision from their previous employers.”


Alternative medicine

The Investment Management Association is the latest group to shoot down the European Commission’s proposals for regulation of the alternatives’ industry.

Recording sickness absence cover - thumbnail

White paper — recording sickness absence

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions illustrate that sickness absence is still a major cost to businesses, with an annual bill for sick pay and associated costs to employers of £9bn. This paper from Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the importance of recording sickness absence for any employee health strategy and how this can be carried out in an efficient manner to reduce absence, improve employee engagement and drive up profits.


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