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Default Retirement Age to be scrapped in 2011

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The government has announced proposals to phase out the Default Retirement Age.

A Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 was introduced in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. It allows employers to set retirement ages of 65 or higher and force staff to retire at 65 regardless of their circumstances.

Under government proposals revealed yesterday, from 6 April 2011 employers will no longer be able to issue any notifications for compulsory retirement using the DRA procedure.

Employers will only be allowed to compulsorily retire employees if they notify affected staff before 6 April and set a retirement date before 1 October 2011.

If employers wish to use retirement ages after 1 October 2011 they will have to demonstrate they are "objectively justified". Examples could include air traffic controllers and police officers.

The abolition of the DRA comes as people are living longer and the government is preparing to speed up increases in the state pension age.

"With more and more people wanting to extend their working lives we should not stop them just because they have reached a particular age," said Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey.

"Older workers bring with them a wealth of talent and experience as employees and entrepreneurs. They have a vital contribution to make to our economic recovery and long term prosperity."

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