Default retirement age should be abolished immediately

The majority of people (65%) want the government to scrap the forced retirement age, according to a new survey by charity Age UK.

The survey also found widespread opposition to the principles of the legislation, with 75% of respondents aged 25-44 believing employers should not be allowed to force employees to retire on the grounds of age.

Ahead of this week’s emergency Budget, Age UK is calling on the government to ‘end speculation and confusion’ among employers and workers by clearly stating forced retirement legislation will be abolished entirely and setting a date for it in the Budget.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: “The default retirement age is a hugely unpopular law which is well past its sell-by date. The Budget offers ministers the opportunity to say loud and clear when they are going to abolish it.

“Forcing people in later life out of the labour market when they want to work, save for their pensions and pay taxes is nonsense. It makes a mockery of the government’s plans to help people work longer.

“A clear commitment to scrapping forced retirement next April is needed to end speculation and confusion among employers and employees alike. It would show how the government was making ‘freedom and fairness’ a reality for many people in later life who are denied that opportunity.”

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