Following the announcements made in the recent Queen’s speech, the government has confirmed that legislation is incoming to increase the judicial retirement age to 75.
This is an increase from 70 and means that magistrates will be able to continue serving for another five years if there is a need for them to do so.
A change like this is no small decision and requires primary legislation; the government have said that this will be passed “as soon as time allows”.
The government published a response to a consultation on the compulsory retirement age in March and considered formally reforming the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Age 1993, which required judges to stop serving at 70 except in specific circumstances.
The consultation received over 1000 responses with the vast majority reportedly supporting proposals for reform to increase the compulsory retirement age. The Ministry of Justice has stated that it acknowledges that working life patterns have changed over the last few decades and that people are working later into life. They have stated that they do not want to lose valuable members of the judiciary when they are able and willing to continue working, which has driven these reforms.
Ministers will make provision for these changes through the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill by reforming judicial pension arrangements. Measures are in place in order to keep the judiciary running to a point where it can keep up with demands of the justice system with retirement and recruitment provisions. While details haven’t been shared yet, the bill will transfer members of the judiciary into a new pension scheme reflecting their unique circumstances.