What is the current default retirement age?
I ask this during my presentations quite a bit, and get A LOT of different answers, with “65” being the most common
The real answer? There isn’t one. It was abolished in October 2011, with a short transition period where you were allowed to give your employees six months’ notice of retirement.
That concluded in 2012.
What does that mean for you as an employer?
Quite a bit as it happens.
Most obviously, it means there is no “retirement” anymore. The only way people leave is to resign.
You can’t wait for that awkward member of staff to retire, because there’s no guarantee they will.
You can’t put off managing a poor performer because they haven’t got long left, because you’ve got no idea whether they will.
However old your staff member is, if they’re not performing, they need managing.
Here’s the BIG problem…
Straightforward so far, right?
But here’s the issue: too many clubs have allowed employees to get away with poor performance for years (seriously, years), because of a belief they’ll be retiring “soon”.
And at some point, the club realises that – actually – this person isn’t going anywhere, creating a perfect storm of:
- Major performance problem
- Long service (and big potential payout)
- At least one protected characteristic (usually age)
If you’re in this situation, get in touch and we’ll talk through your options.
What you can and can’t do.
You CAN’T talk to your more mature staff members about their plans for retirement.
You CAN’T offer phased retirement.
If you think about it, it’d be the same as sitting down with any other member of staff and asking them “What are your plans for leaving the company, when do you think you will want to go?”, which I’m sure you’ll agree would be ludicrous.
You CAN ask ALL staff, as part of their annual review, what their career plans are.
At that point, you might get some information on when they hope to retire or reduce their hours, and once they’ve told you that in an official capacity, you’re allowed to keep that conversation going.
Could the end of retirement be a blessing in disguise?
The truth is that if you’ve got a good one, you probably don’t want them to retire.
After all, it’s difficult enough to find good staff nowadays – why try to get rid of the good ones just on the grounds of age?
If you’ve got any retirement issues or questions, you know where we are.
PS There is still an age at which you can take your state pension. That has nothing to do with retirement from working any more.