How did you set the retirement age?

Where is the retirement age documented?  Is it in the contract of employment or how is it binding on employees?

Where are the objective justifications for the retirement age documented?

What considerations were taken into account when the retirement age was being set for each employee?

Are the objectives explained in the contract of employment or in the recruitment policy  or a retirement policy or an employee handbook?

What are the legitimate aims you are trying to achieve by setting a retirement age for existing employees?

Why does a person have to retire from your business at age 55, 60 or 65?

Assessment when deciding on a retirement age

Have you assessed and documented the alternatives to the set retirement age that you considered?

What were the alternative ways of achieving the legitimate aim? Why were the alternatives unsuitable? 

Have you a legitimate aim? 

Is the setting of a specific retirement age the appropriate manner of achieving the legitimate aim?

Is the specific retirement age necessary to achieve the legitimate aim? 

Defending an employment equality age discrimination claim 

In order to succeed in defending an age discrimination claim and to ensure that the retirement age is lawful, the set retirement age must:


(a) be objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim; and


(b) the means of achieving the legitimate aim must be appropriate and necessary.


This is a high burden for an employer to meet.


To discuss your employment law obligations please contact Michelle McLoughlin



The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.

No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article