Retirement law

When you decide that you wish to retire, you have a number of retirement rights that your employer must comply with. These retirement rights include:

  • The right to be notified
  • The right to not be discriminated against
  • The right to apply to work past your retirement date, and appeal the decision

If you feel that any of your retirement rights are being restricted, call us and we can recommend a specialist employment lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.

Your retirement rights

As an employee, you have the right to be notified when you will actually be retiring. This is called the ‘intended retirement date’ and must be given to you by your employer at least six months in advance.

Retirement rights also include your right to not be discriminated against under employment law. If your employer has or wants to retire you, they must do so within discrimination regulations that state that you must not be discriminated against because of your age. If you think this has or will be happening to you, contact a solicitor, as you may have a case for discrimination.

You also have retirement rights that include the ability to apply to your employer to work past your formal retirement date. If you make this request to your employer:

  • They must take this seriously and consider your application on its merits
  • You must make your application in writing stating the terms within which you would like to continue working

Retirement rights also give you the ability to appeal any decision that has been made about your application to continue working. Note that if your appeal is rejected, your employer does not have to give a reason for this. You can, however, seek the advice from an employment solicitor about any further action you could consider taking.

Ways forward for the employee

As of 2013, employers can no longer force their employees to retire once they are 65 years of age. Employees will now be able to choose the route they wish to take. If an employer now retires their employee, they can be liable for age discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The employer will have the defence of an employee not being capable of doing their job; however, unless correctly recorded and evidenced, this defence may be very hard to prove at an employment tribunal.

If you feel that you are being ‘retired’ against your wishes then your first step should be to lodge a grievance. A grievance is a formal complaint made to your employer in writing. Every employer should have a grievance procedure in place. Your employer will then respond, taking note of your complaint.

The response from your employer may be to grant your request and keep you on, or it may uphold their decision to retire you.

If an employer decides to retire the employee then the employee will be able to appeal the decision. If the retirement is upheld then the employee will have three months within which to lodge a claim in an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and/or age discrimination.

There is further information about retirement rights on a number of Governmental websites you can visit. One of the most useful is the Pensions Advisory Service. If you are unsure about any point of law regarding your retirement rights, there are solicitors in your area who deal specifically with employment law and can help you.

If you are in the process of negotiating a severance package, see our page on compromise agreements for more information.

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