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Default retirement age comes to a welcome end

Written by Sam Jones on 04 October 2012.

This Friday will see the latest possible date that someone will be forced to retire at the age of 65, after the current regulations associated with retirement will subside and could herald a new era for mortgages for over 65s.

This Friday will be the latest possible date that someone could still be forced to retire under the old system, as before April last year employers had to give workers up to 12 months’ notice, with a possible 6-month extension, before they could force them to retire at the previous default age of 65.

As it appears that the workplace is now much more welcoming to older workers, the medium term job prospects for the economy are more likely to increase as a result. As over 65s become more economically active and millions of older people appear to be pulling out of the UK Labour market with potentially insufficient pensions, standard of living could potentially decrease.

Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, said: “This change does not mean anyone has to be forced to work longer. But it does mean that employers cannot force people to stop, if they are perfectly good at their jobs and willing and able to work. A social revolution seems underway, and the more people embrace these opportunities, the better for all of us.”

The government’s decision to remove the default retirement age can only be welcomed. Although it does not mean that individuals over 65 are duty bound to work beyond the age of current state retirement age, having the option to work for longer rather than being forced out is likely to be a better outcome for all.

The decision may also mean that more lenders are willing to consider mortgages beyond the age of 65.

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