Goodbye retirement age

Midweek Herald readers say they want to carry on working.

The proposal, which is set to come into force from 2011, means employers will not be allowed to dismiss staff because they have reached the age of 65.

Instead, employers will have to hold a meeting with the employee six months before their 65th birthday, in which they can discuss the future.

Herald readers are pleased the latest proposals allow people to work as long as they want to, instead of being forced into an early retirement – something John Coringham, 75, of Plymtree, experienced.

“I was certainly forced into retirement much against my will, so I became a burden on the state unnecessarily,” he told the Midweek Herald.

“I didn’t really want to retire. I would’ve gone on.”

Andrew Simpson, 58, of Broadhembury, favours the proposal, believing it will allow people to take the decision into their own hands.

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He said: “I think it’s a good idea, because people want to work after 65. It gives more opportunity to the person to determine what happens next.”

The plans, which were featured in both the Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos, were formed as part of the government’s coalition agreement and aim to ease the country’s debt as more people continue to pay tax.

Claire Phillips, 45, of Sidmouth, said: “I think it makes financial sense when people are living longer. I think it’s sensible.”

Mike Cummings, 61, of Honiton, said: “If you look at the country, elderly people are not respected.

“Elderly people in China and Japan are looked up to and respected at any age. To be honest, the country is on a downward spiral.”

He added: “I would love to retire, because I have projects to last me until I’m 300, but I would work on.”

Maureen Stoneham, 65, of Dunkeswell, is still working and is all in favour of people working after the current retirement age.

“I am above retirement age and I am still working,” she said.

“I think it is good. It gets you out of the house and gets you to earn a few bob.”

The changes could be felt in workplaces from as soon as April 6 next year, due to the six months notice employers must give.

Activists have hailed the breakthrough as a ‘victory’ after years spent campaigning against a specific retirement age.