5th November 2010, London: Research undertaken by JLT Benefit Solutions (JLT), one of the four largest employee benefits consultancies in the UK, amongst sponsors of the 1,500 workplace pension schemes that it provides services to, highlights that the majority of UK companies are unprepared for the looming removal of the Default Retirement Age (DRA).
The use of DRA, which allows companies to maintain a compulsory retirement policy for their workforce at age 65 or above, is set to be phased out from 6 April 2011, pending the outcome of a joint consultation being undertaken by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions which closed on 21 October 2010.
Following the consultation period, it is highly likely that DRA will be phased out over six months beginning 6 April 2011, at which point employers will no longer be able to rely on DRA to compulsorily retire employees and instead will either have to cease using a DRA or risk being challenged in the courts under age based or unfair dismissal proceedings.
It is expected that mandatory retirement at age 65 will continue to feature in private sector employment beyond 2011, but this will be accompanied by increased litigation over what qualifies as ‘objectively justifiable.'
John Wilson, Head of Technical Services at JLT Benefit Solutions, commented:
"Employers need to be aware how the issues arising from this change will affect their pension schemes and risk benefits, as well as how to proceed during the transitional period and where retirements have already been initiated."
"JLT Benefit Solutions expects the abolition of DRA will be accompanied by a sharp increase in demand for flexible working, where employees will take benefits from their pension scheme whilst continuing to work with the same employer. Employers will need to formalise their flexible retirement policies."
Group Corporate Communications JLT Benefit Solutions
Isabella Young Simon Hazeldine
+44 (0)20 7558 3387 +44 (0)1727 775 102
About JLT Benefit Solutions Limited
JLT Benefit Solutions Limited (JLT) is one of the UK's leading employee benefit providers offering a wide range of benefit and pension services, including administration, actuarial and pension consultancy, investment, wealth management, Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs) flexible benefits, healthcare, benefit communication and financial education.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, JLT employs over 1,200 professionals in the UK with revenues of some £90.5m in 2009. The recent acquisitions of HSBC Actuarial and Consultants Limited and iimia Wealth Management have supported JLT's continued expansion to become one of the four largest employee benefits consultancies in the UK. This year JLT was awarded Pension Scheme Administrator of the Year at the 2010 European Pensions Awards.
Other pensions and employee benefits companies within the JLT group of companies include: Profund Solutions Limited, Independent Trustee Services Limited and Pension Capital Strategies Limited.
JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd is part of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT) is an international group of risk specialists and employee benefits consultants and one of the largest companies of its type in the world. JLT offers a distinctive choice to clients and partners through our combination of independence, scale and specialism.
The Jardine Lloyd Thompson group is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and employs over 6200 people worldwide and through the JLT International Network provides services in more than 130 countries.