When it comes to employees’ retirement, South African labour legislation does not make any provision for a retirement age. This subject is the most common one to be neglected or ignored by employers – especially where a retirement age was agreed upon in an employment contract between the employer and the employee.

If the employment contract does not make any provision for a retirement age, the employer can implement a retirement policy in the workplace stipulating the retirement of employees at a fixed age (which can vary for different job categories).

In the absence of both a retirement clause in the contract of employment and a retirement policy, the employer should handle retirement according to the normal practice set for previously retired employees in the company.

Section 187(1)(f) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) states that it is an automatically unfair dismissal if the dismissal is based on unfair discrimination on the grounds of age. Employers also enjoy protection and guidance by Section 187(2)(b) of the Labour Relations Act which states that a dismissal is not automatically unfair if it was according to the normal or agreed retirement age.

From my research, I have discovered that there is no statutory retirement age in South Africa, the accepted norm is that people in South Africa retire between the ages of 60 and 65.

I would appreciate if any of our readers can provide us with any information or any experiences, where they were involved in.

In addition, it would be greatly appreciated if any readers living outside South Africa could provide us with their experiences in this regard. I read that the retirement age in the United Kingdom has recently been increased to 68. At present in Europe, most of the countries official retirement age is 65.

In terms of our latest report, we have readers in the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Portugal.We would really appreciate any comments on this interesting matter.

This subject is important for anyone who is close to retirement and recommend you establish your exact position, which could affect you