For a few years now, we have been predicting that the Baby Boomer generation (born after World War II, into the 1950s and 60s) will not retire. In fact, we think we’re quite clever when we say they’ll more likely re-tyre. We’ve even developed a presentation on the topic that we called, “Prime Time”. (See all the posts on this blog in this category here).
One of our specific predictions has been that those countries that have mandatory retirement ages (such as the UK) will soon be forced to drop these laws and either move the mandatory age older, or drop it altogether. Today, the UK courts came out with a surprising ruling on this issue.
The courts ruled that the retirement age must stay as it is at 65, and that making it mandatory is in fact legal. And this is what the headlines will trumpet. Read a news report here. But, the detail in this case is vital. Mr Justice Blake indicated that his ruling is simply an affirmation that this is the law as it stands. The government has agreed to bring the review of this issue forward to 2010, and the Judge strongly hinted in his ruling that he believes it must change when that review is done next year.
In other words, today’s ruling is no ruling at all. It is simply a judge indicating that he does not want to pre-empt a full discussion and review that is happening next year anyway.
So, today’s ruling does not defeat our prediction. It just delays the inevitable.
The question for every company remains: how does the removal of mandatory retirement ages affect your company, your industry, your customers, your staff? There are HUGE implications for many businesses.