Covers: rationale for a retirement age in a contract of employment, retirement ages and the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 including the new requirement for objective justification under the new Act and tips for employers on to protect themselves from challenges to their retirement age clauses.

There is no fixed mandatory retirement age in Ireland. Employers are permitted to set their own retirement age whether by contract, policy or custom and practice. Certain professions do however have a statutory retirement age such as the Gardaí, the fire fighters and defence forces.

The usual retirement age up until recently was 65. The state pension age changed on 1 January 2014 to 66 and will increase incrementally to 68 by January 2028. The change to age 66 means that there is an increased possibility that workers may find themselves in a situation of being obliged to retire and not being entitled to a state pension for a further 12 months.

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