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Retirement Age

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on allowing civil servants to retire at the age of 65. [90029]

The Government have already begun to address the social and economic consequences of demographic change in its role as employer. One of the recommendations of Winning the Generation Game was that public sector employers should review their retirement ages and examine the case for allowing those who want to work on to age 65 to do so. Already 75 per cent. of civil servants now have the option to retire at 65 and the numbers able to serve beyond 60 are expected to increase.All staff in the Department for Work and Pensions, below the Senior Civil Service, are able to choose to remain in employment beyond the age of 60 for any period of time up to the age of 65."Staff in the Senior Civil Service normally retire at the age of 60 but the Head of the Department and Agency Chief Executives have flexibility to retain members of the Senior Civil Service beyond age 60 if they judge it in the public interest and they are satisfied about the fitness and efficiency of the individual to carry out his or her duties. The most senior posts require written approval from the Head of the Home Civil Service to be retained for longer than three months beyond their 60th birthday."This is based on an extract from the Civil Service Management Code.Most public service pension schemes, however, still allow a normal pension to be taken at 60 or under. The Government is seeking views on the proposal that the rules of public service pension schemes should be changed and applied to all new members during the next few years to make an unreduced pension payable from age 65 rather than 60. Such a change would reflect improved longevity, modern working patterns and the practice in the majority of private sector pension schemes.