Managing flexible retirement and extended working lives

  • The default retirement age (DRA) was removed on 1 October 2011 and the overall aim of this project was to provide resources in order to help higher education institutions (HEIs) to manage their workforce without a default retirement age. The project received funding from HEFCE under its Leadership Governance and Management scheme and it was undertaken in partnership with Equality Challenge Unit. It was supported by an advisory group that included representatives from Universities Human Resources, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the trade unions, UCU and UNISON.  

  • Resources

    The resources produced by this project are free to all Higher Education Institutions as well as other Educational establishments and interested parties.

    This report presents the findings from a survey undertaken in 2010 and from previous research carried out in the HE sector about levels of staff’s requests to work past the age of 65 and about managing extended working lives. It provides information to allow HEIs to take an evidence-based approach to develop policies and practices in this area.

    This guide is aimed at Human Resource Management Practitioners and Equality Specialists. It presents a range of information and resources to help HEIs develop their own best practice in managing flexible retirement and extended working lives. There are two versions of this guide: An extended on-line version

    Workshop PowerPoint presentations and Case Studies

    These resources were used in a series of regional workshops to explore the implications for the management of human resources of extending working lives, including the use of employer-justified retirement ages:

    These resources can be used for training purposes to build management capability to manage extended working lives.

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    Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice
    Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane
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    Tel: +44 (0)1865 488108

    Research Fellow 

    Dr Clare Stovell 


    Dr Anne Laure Humbert 

    Founding Director

    Professor Simonetta Manfredi

    Research Administrator 

    Mieke Tyrrell