§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department enforces a284W maximum retirement age of most staff; and whether it has a policy of not considering applications for employment by persons over a particular age, and those ages. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 10 June 2002]: The normal retirement age for non-industrial staff Home Office staff is 60 and for industrial staff 65. The Department has recently reviewed its age retirement policy and from 1 April 2002 all non-industrial staff up to Grade 6 throughout the Home Office (including the agencies but excluding the Prison Service) have the option to retire at any point between the ages of 60 and 65.
The Prison Service is currently carrying out its own separate formal review of age retirement policy.
The Home Office has also revised its recruitment policy from 1 April 2002 to allow for the recruitment of staff up to the age of 64, subject to their meeting normal standards of health. Provided that there is an expectation of a reasonable period of employment and a return on recruitment and training, the primary criterion for selection will be the ability of a candidate to carry out the duties of the vacant post.