Can an employer ask an employee whether or not he or she has any plans to retire?
While it is not unlawful for employers to ask employees about their plans for retirement, for example for the purpose of planning their future workforce requirements, employers should be aware of the risk of age discrimination. They should avoid questions that suggest that they are putting pressure on the employee to retire. Acas guidance on working without the default retirement age advises that, instead of asking expressly whether or not an older employee has plans to retire, employers should consider asking employees about their future aims and aspirations, as a good way of raising the issue of retirement. Acas suggests that these discussions can be carried out as part of a regular appraisal process. To avoid claims of age discrimination, employers should not limit workplace discussions of this type to older workers.