How will employers deal with retirement after the abolition of the default retirement age?

Employers can continue to operate a compulsory retirement age only if they can objectively justify it. To justify a compulsory retirement age, the employer must be able to show that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Employers that do not operate a compulsory retirement age may be able to carry out individual retirements on a case-by-case basis, but it will be difficult to justify such a retirement where the employer does not consistently apply the same retirement age to all employees in similar roles.

An employer that wishes to retire an employee must also follow a fair procedure under the ordinary unfair dismissal rules. If the retirement is objectively justified, the dismissal will be deemed to be for "some other substantial reason" under s.98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Most employers will not operate a compulsory retirement age. In this case, an employee can choose to retire at any age. In effect this will be a resignation.