The UK does not have a mandatory retirement age. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations aim to tackle unjustified age discrimination in employment and vocational training. The default retirement age, which employers may use if they wish, and the employee's right to request working beyond retirement age were introduced to deliver the Government's labour market objectives of recognising the need for workforce planning and avoiding adverse impact on the provision of occupational pensions and other work-related benefits. Our position was also set out in the joint Written Statement by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to the House on 14 December 2004 at col. 127WS.
We are of course monitoring the developments in the labour market and have introduced a wide range of help for businesses and households in order to help them deal with the current economic situation and prepare for the future.
In terms of the policy on the default retirement age we remain committed to undertaking an evidence- based review. With the assistance of representatives of the business community, trade unions and age groups we are in the process of gathering the evidence which will be needed to enable us to undertake this review in 2011. If the conclusion of the review is that the evidence demonstrates a default retirement age is no longer necessary, we will take the necessary steps to remove it.