What is the current default retirement age?
Well, there isn’t one. It was abolished in October 2011.
What does that mean for you as an employer?
You can’t avoid managing staff because “they will be retiring next year”. There is no more retirement. People can only resign. So if you have a member of staff who isn’t performing, at any age, you need to manage them!
The problem is when someone has been allowed to get away with poor performance for years (and yes, I do mean years) because they will be retiring soon. Then the Club realises that this person isn’t going and they have a major performance problem, coupled with long service and at least one protected characteristic (age).
There was a changeover period back in 2011 where you had to give your employees 6 months’ notice of leaving. As there is now no retirement, this no longer applies.
You can also not sit down and have a chat with more mature members of staff about their plans for retirement. This was in a handbook that had been written by another HR consultant! That would 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?”! Ludicrous!
If they approach you and ask for flexible working, fine. Otherwise, you as their employer, do not raise the subject unless it is on clearly objective performance grounds.
PS There is still an age at which you can take your pension. That has nothing to do with retirement from working any more.