The question of whether workers can be forced to retire at 65 years has been referred back to the UK High Court from the European Court of Justice. The High Court has now decided that the Default Retirement Age Act introduced by the government in 2006 following European Union Directives against age discrimination (and the government’s interpretation of it), is correct. Workers can be forced to retire at 65 years.
But the Court and government have both indicated that they expect the mandatory retirement age to be lifted to possibly 70 or 75 years within the next 12 months. Age Concern and Help the Aged, which brought the case, are not appealing as they will welcome this possible increase in the mandatory retirement age.
This is an example of workers pursuing and setting bad legal precedents because we are not challenging the very cause of pensioner poverty in the first instance. Adequate pensions should be the alternative to pensioners having to work until they die.
When men asked for equality with women and the right to retire at 60 years the government turned the equality argument on its head and increased the retirement age for women to 65 years.
Now it is “resolving” pensioner poverty by extending the working life or blaming the mismanagement of pensions schemes – totally the responsibility of the government and the employers – on pensioners, hence extending the working life before receiving a pension.
This is nothing more than a sleight of hand and robbery – a sleight of hand supposedly stemming from the European Union but written in Whitehall.
The first pensions, introduced in 1908, were payable to those who reached 75 years; 100 years later the same “work ‘em to death” philosophy is being spewed forth.