Plans to encourage people aged 65 and over to work for longer rather than forcing them to retire have been welcomed by employers.
The default retirement age will be phased out by October 2011 and the plans were introduced due to ministers arguing that people were living longer, healthier lives.
It is one of a number of measures to help people to work for longer, and other steps include a proposal to increase the state pension age to 66.
Employers can currently make staff retire at 65, and despite the plans, a compulsory retirement age may still be in place for certain professions, including police officers, after October 2011.
The Department for Business said: “Although the government is proposing to remove the [default retirement age], it will still be possible for individual employers to operate a compulsory retirement age, provided that they can objectively justify it. Examples could include air traffic controllers and police officers.”
The consultation on the proposals will run until October this year.
Businesses have welcomed the government’s proposals, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said it was a “breakthrough” following years of campaigning against the policy.