The normal retirement age is 60. All staff below the senior civil service may elect to remain in service until the age of 65 subject to continued efficiency and organisational need.
The Minister will be aware that there is a wide range of retirement ages in the agencies and the Department for which he has responsibility. Will he comment on that? Is it the result of personal choice or departmental expediency? How will the forthcoming EU directive on equal treatment affect his Department's policy?
We seek to provide choice for people. We also want to ensure that people are in post who are able to provide the standard of service that the public expect. We have changed our recruitment policy to include those over the age of 60. However, everyone remains subject to the current maximum retirement age of 65. Flexibility and ensuring that we have the staff available to serve the public is the balanced approach that we take.