§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will list for each NDPB or agency sponsored by her Department(a) the maximum retirement age adopted for most employees, and that age and (b) whether they have a policy of not considering applications for employment by persons over a particular age, and that age; 
(2) if (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have a policy of not considering applications for employment by persons over a particular age. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 10 June 2002]The Department and the Agencies it sponsors have a common policy on retirement age. The normal retirement age is 60 although staff in Administrative Officer and Administrative Assistant grades may stay on until the age of 65, no age bar is set on applications for employment beyond the retirement age for the grade in question.
The normal retirement age for members of the Senior Civil Service is determined by the Cabinet Office and is currently 60. Heads of Departments and Agency Chief Executives have some flexibility to retain members of the Senior Civil Service beyond the age of 60 in exceptional circumstances subject to the approval of the Head of the Home Civil Service for the Senior Appointments Selection Committee (SASC) Group.
It is for individual Non Departmental Public Bodies to determine their own policies about the age limits of those they employ, in accordance with existing equal opportunities legislation and good practice guidelines.