The Budget disclosed that the Government will “quickly” phase out the Default Retirement Age from April.
It will prevent older staff from being forced into retirement against their wishes, as well as boosting tax revenues from those who keep working and reduce welfare payments.
The move reflects the increasing longevity of Britons and their desire to keep active long into what was formerly seen as old age, but also the Government’s need to stop the workforce shrinking now that pensioners outnumber children for the first time.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in his Budget speech: “We will consult on whether to phase out the Default Retirement Age.”
But HM Treasury documents published on Tuesday show that the Government is already committed to abolishing the policy, which allows employers to tell staff they must leave as soon as they turn 65, as soon as next year.
The Budget red book states: “To ensure that those who wish to work beyond 65 are able to, the Government will consult shortly on how it will quickly phase out the Default Retirement Age from April 2011.”
It follows a commitment to phase out the rule, included in last month’s Coalition plan.
Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “They should make their consultation swift, and move quickly to bring to an end the absurdity of enforced retirement.
“In tough times like these, it is all the more crazy to force people out of the labour market and into the pension claimant ranks. People who want and are able to keep working can do more to reduce the deficit than people forced out of work and into unwilling retirement.”
A survey published earlier this week found that most people want forced retirement to be scrapped immediately, with two-thirds believing that the principle is wrong.
Labour had fought and won a High Court case last year against campaigners who argued that forced retirement breached European employment law, but ministers later admitted the policy was “arbitrary” and pledged to review it.
In a separate move, Mr Osborne said the Government will “accelerate” the increase in the state pension age to 66.
Article from The Telegraph