‘Til death do us partner

An embarrassing month for government retirement policy got worse this week
after it emerged that a legislative hole means partners in professional firms
might never have to retire.

New EU laws outlaw age discrimination. However the government has proposed
exemptions to the laws that allow companies to continue applying a staff
retirement age of 65. With no mention of partnerships among the proposed
exemptions, the profession has been frantically lobbying for an amendment.

One senior Big Four partner admitted being caught out by the proposals, as
partnerships had been expected to be included among any exemptions. ‘In drafting
the regulations, nobody has thought about partnerships,’ he said, citing
concerns over a lack of opportunities for young talent as some partners would
insist on working beyond 65. ‘There needs to be some urgent rethinking.’

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