§ Mr. O'Hara
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultation the Government will hold with business before abolishing mandatory retirement ages as proposed in the Pensions Green Paper. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 24 March 2003]: The Pensions Green Paper stated that "under the Directive, compulsory retirement ages are likely to be unlawful unless employers can show that they are objectively justified". By summer 2003, the Government will consult widely, including with business, on proposals around this and other aspects of the directive.