This article considers the issues raised by the proposed abolition of the mandatory retirement age as a result of the Equal Treatment Directive, 2000/78/EC, and of proposed Age Discrimination in Employment Regulations. It argues that there are a number of distinctive retirement ages, namely, the contractual retirement age, the pensionable retirement age and the actual or normal retirement age. These may coincide or they may occur at different times, but it is only the contractual retirement age that is likely to be abolished by the Regulations. Their effect upon the retirement age will therefore be limited. As part of the research for this article a number of TUC affiliated trade unions were interviewed in order to gain an employee perspective of the issues surrounding the abolition of mandatory retirement ages.
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