Responding to the announcement, Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director, Business in the Community, said:
“It is one of the great successes of our time that we are all living longer - now we need to ensure that individuals get the right support to enable them to prepare for their own later life. Although the state pension is an important part of this, now there is no longer a default retirement age, we can all think about how we take responsibility for preparing for later life – including employers.
“Part of this is rethinking career trajectories and supporting fuller working lives. We would therefore encourage all employers to prepare for the increase in older workers and retain the knowledge of their current employees. For example, flexible working can help older workers balance work with managing chronic health conditions or caring responsibilities. Monitoring training uptake by age and adapting training to the needs of a multi-generational workforce can also help equip all employees with the skills they need for the changing world of work.
“Employers should also think about their recruitment strategies for older workers. Our research shows one million over-50s who are out of work want to return to the workplace - employers must ensure they are not unintentionally excluding them. Approaches such as ‘equality-proofing’ recruitment materials and offering returnships for older workers can help employers access the widest possible talent pool and benefit from the skills and experience older workers have to offer.”
The independent review is responsible for gathering evidence on State Pension age and will consider a broad range of factors before making its recommendations. It will consider a wide range of evidence and analysis. including whether the current system of a universal State Pension age rising in line with life expectancy is optimal in the long run. The 2014 Pensions Act requires the State Pension age to be reviewed during each Parliament. John Cridland CBE, has been appointed to take the review forward and will report to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in time to allow government to consider the recommendations by May 2017. The review will be forward looking and focussed on the longer term. It will not cover the existing State Pension age timetable to April 2028.