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Civil Service: Retirement Age

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the rationale for senior civil servants' retirement age being set at 65, while for most staff below those grades there is no default retirement age. [HL1571]

Unlike retirement age policies for staff below the senior Civil Service, retirement age for the members of the senior Civil Service (SCS) is not delegated to individual departments to decide but is managed centrally.

Careful consideration was given to the impact on SCS management policies in light of the age regulations before the decision to adopt the national default age of 65 was taken. Departments and agencies and the Council of Civil Service Unions were consulted.

It is important for the Civil Service to have the flexibility to manage talent in the SCS through, for example, promotion, deployment and recruitment. The decision to adopt a retirement age of 65 for the SCS enables the Civil Service to manage the SCS so that it has the right skills, experience and behaviours to meet the challenges faced by the 21st century Civil Service in delivering the Government's agenda. Having a retirement age of 65 does not mean that members of the SCS cannot request to work beyond that age.