This is a preview. To continue reading please log in or Register to read this article


Updating author: Max Winthrop


  • The default retirement age and the associated statutory retirement procedure were repealed by the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1069), which came into force on 6 April 2011. (See Overview)
  • The last possible date for a retirement under the now repealed regime was 5 October 2012. (See Transitional provisions)
  • Compulsory retirement dismissals effected on or after 6 April 2011 may amount to direct age discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. (See Working without the default retirement age and statutory retirement procedure)
  • Compulsory retirement dismissals will not amount to direct age discrimination if the employer can prove that the use of a compulsory retirement age is objectively justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. (See Employer-justified retirement ages)
  • Acas advises that good people management is the best way for employers to adapt to the abolition of the default retirement age and advocates the use of regular workplace discussions. (See Workplace discussions)
  • Older employees may still voluntarily retire at a time of their choosing and draw any occupational pension to which they are entitled under the scheme's rules. (See Voluntary retirements)
  • In cases covered by the transitional provisions, where an employer is deemed to have dismissed an employee by reason of retirement, the dismissal will not be unfair or constitute age discrimination provided that the employer complied with the procedures set out in sch.6 to the otherwise largely revoked Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1031). (See (Repealed) default retirement age and statutory retirement procedure)

Sector resources

Additional resources on this topic are available for the following sectors: