Why is this important?
This information applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
There is no longer a normal retirement age.
If your contract says you have to retire at a certain age, your employer can only make you retire once you reach this age if they can justify it. If they can't justify it, this may be age discrimination and possibly unfair dismissal, and you should seek further advice.
For example, if you have a physically demanding job and your employer wants to make everyone in that job retire when they reach 60, they'll have to justify it, otherwise it would be age discrimination. If they could show that keeping people over 60 on in those jobs would cause real problems for the business, then this may not be age discrimination.
However, if steps were made to make you retire before 5 April 2011 and you agreed a date to end your work with your employer, they can still make you retire at age 65. This is because your employer was allowed to follow the Default Retirement Procedure, which forced people to retire at 65. This procedure no longer applies to anyone making retirement plans on or after 6 April 2011.
If you think you might be forced to retire and you're a trade union member, talk to your trade union about how to negotiate with your employer or talk to an experienced adviser.
If you think you have been discriminated against because of your age, you should get advice from an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.
For more information about age discrimination at work, see Age discrimination at work.