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Departmental Retirement

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has a standard retirement age; and how many employees have been asked to retire on reaching 65 years of age in each year since 2000. (218217)

When the new age legislation came into force on 1 October 2006, the Department, along with all of its Agencies, changed its retirement policies. With the exception of Animal Health and the Central Science Laboratory, there is no longer a set retirement age for employees below the senior civil service. Members of staff can work as long as they wish subject to the normal performance, conduct and attendance requirements.

Animal Health and the Central Science Laboratory currently have a retirement age of 65. However, employees are entitled to request to work beyond 65.

The current retirement age for members of the senior civil service is 65. If an employee wishes to stay beyond 65 they can do so, provided it has been agreed by the Permanent Secretary or the relevant agency chief executive.

Three members of staff below the SCS in core DEFRA have retired on or on the day before their 65th birthday since October 2006, when new age legislation came into force. However, it is not possible to differentiate between those staff who have chosen to retire on reaching 65 years of age and any staff who may have been asked to retire.