In Hörnfeldt v Posten Meddelande, the ECJ considered whether a compulsory retirement age of 67 in Sweden could be justified. The ECJ held that the Swedish retirement law was not contrary to the Equal Treatment Framework Directive as it could achieve many legitimate aims.
For example, it will increase the amount of future retirement pension by allowing employees to work after the age of 65. Furthermore, if employees are retiring at 65, there will be a shortage of labour thus this rule responds to large numbers of forthcoming retirees.
Further aims suggest it would enable retirement pension regimes to be adjusted on the basis of the principle that income received over the full course of an employee’s career must be taken into account. Additionally, it avoids the termination of employment contracts in situations, which are humiliating for workers by reason of their advanced age.
For those who wish to work beyond 65, they will find less difficulty in carrying on employment. It thus establishes a right, and not an obligation, to work until the age of 67.
It will also make it easier for younger people to enter the labour market as the Swedish Equality Ombudsman argue that the 67-year rule was justified on the ground that it frees up jobs for younger workers.
Dion McCarthy, Trainee Solicitor