Britain has announced plans to end the fixed retirement age next year, saying it wanted to give people the chance to work beyond the age of 65.
Currently, it is entirely at the employers’ discretion to allow staff to continue in a job after their 65th birthday.
Supporters have hailed the move as a victory against ageism.
Mervyn Kohler from Age UK said: “There are lots of people who want to carry on working whose aspirations have been blocked by this completely arbitrary ‘Default Retirement Age’.”
But not everyone is happy. Business groups have said the law will create uncertainty, adding the proposed changes have left business little time to prepare.
Katja Hall, from the Confederation of British Industry said: “Our theory is that they (people over 65) will keep on going – perhaps they haven’t saved enough for their pensions – so they feel they have no choice but to keep on going. And the employer is left in a very difficult situation where they either have to start performance managing that individual, which is not a pleasant process, or just keep them on when they’re not really performing in their job.”
With Britain needing to cut public spending to rein- in a record budget deficit, the move is being seen by some as a ploy to raise more tax.
However, the government has said this will allow people more choice as they live longer and healthier lives.