Working Past Retirement: Don’t Stop Me Now
While for many people retirement seems a time for relaxation and rest, the end of a working life is not always a welcome event. In Britain a full 10% of employees eligible for retirement are still working, and that number is expected to grow.
Those approaching age 65 may have numerous reasons to stay on the job. Whether financial conditions, work-life balance, or simple preference make retirement an unwelcome prospect, you have the right to ask your employer to work past retirement age.
What should you do if you’re not ready to call it quits for good? Here are a few things to consider:
The default retirement age will be abolished on 1 October 2011.
This means that, even though employers are able to decide at what age you retire, it need not be the default retirement age set by the government. You have the right to discuss whether retirement beyond 65 is appropriate for you.
Making a request to work past retirement age must be considered by your employer.
Your employer will give you notice no later than six months and no earlier than 12 months from your date of retirement. When they have done this, you must submit your request in writing no later than three months before this date. You must specify whether there is a set time or date when you would prefer to stop working, or whether you’d like to stay employed indefinitely.
Your employer may accept your request, or he may wish to discuss it with you and negotiate a final decision.
You have the right to be accompanied by worker or trade union member employed by the same employer, who may speak to either party, as long as he/she doesn’t answer any questions on your behalf.
Your employer must respond by an agreed date, in writing. If he rejects your request, you can also appeal under the same conditions as before. You can only appeal once, and the employer is not require to provide a reason for his decision.
How will this affect your pension? If you continue to work after age 65, you are able to claim your pension, or defer until you stop working. If you defer, you can later receive your pension at a higher rate or else receive your deferred payments in a lump sum. You are also free to halt any pension payments you’ve already begun to receive and start them up again when you’ve finished work. Of course, you should check with your employer about the specific terms of your pension plan.
Thanks to changes in employment law, you now have the right to choose when you retire. This means that when you finally do end your career, it will be easier for you to find the relaxation that retirement is rumored to be.