Editor's message: Following the repeal of the default retirement age and the statutory retirement procedure, compulsory retirement can still be lawful, but only in limited circumstances. You can retire an employee at a set age only if you can show that you have a legitimate aim in setting the compulsory retirement age and that your retirement policy is a proportionate way of achieving that aim.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
The Court of Appeal has held that the decision to reduce officer head count "to the fullest extent" by forcibly retiring police officers with 30 years' service was justified.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that police forces' use of Regulation A19, which required police officers with more than 30 years' pensionable service to retire, did not amount to age discrimination.
In Chief Constable of West Midlands Police and others v Harrod and others  IRLR 790 EAT, the EAT held that the employment tribunal erred in holding that the indirect age discrimination that arose from the application of reg.A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 was unjustified.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has dismissed police officers' claims for indirect discrimination on the ground of age. Police forces, to make costs savings, applied the A19 rule in the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 to retire officers who had accrued a certain minimum pension entitlement that could be achieved only after 30 years' service.
In Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes (no 2)  IRLR 748 EAT, the EAT held that a compulsory retirement age of 65 for partners in a law firm was objectively justified age discrimination. Superior courts had already determined that there were legitimate aims for the policy, and the only issue remaining for the tribunal was whether or not 65 was reasonably necessary for achieving them. The tribunal did not err in concluding that it was.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed an appeal against a finding that a mandatory retirement age of 65 for partners in a law firm was justified.
The employment tribunal held that the practice of requiring the retirement of officers under reg.A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
A quiz for line managers to test their knowledge on the law and practice relating to retirement.
Our latest research on the removal of a default retirement age finds evidence of changes to retirement ages. We explore employers' views on the changes and the benefits as identified by our respondents. The difficulties as identified by respondent organisations are also documented.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to compulsory retirement.