Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has today (Monday 11th September) called on the UK Government to look at more flexible retirement options for army reservists.
Christine raised the case of a constituent who was willing and able enough to continue working in a “non-deployed” role in the Army Reserves.
However, he was unable to do so because of the mandatory retirement age of 55 for Army reservists, lower than 60 for the Royal Air Force and the Navy.
In a recent letter to Christine, the Government argued that this was due to a much higher number of reservists in the Army compared to other forces.
But the Lib Dem MP warned that high levels of staff turnover put useful institutional memory at risk and urged the Government to give reservists the choice to work in less physically demanding positions.
Christine said, “Our Armed Forces do a superb job keeping our country safe, and the Army Reserves play a vital role for security and strategy.
“But the current rules on retirement age are forcing willing and able reservists away from their roles, including less physically demanding roles that may be more suitable, such as admin work.
“By preventing them from being deployed to any kind of work over a certain age, we are losing vital institutional memory and staff capacity from Armed Forces which are already stretched thin.
“Now more than ever it is vital we have strong investment and a growing workforce in our Army.
“I hope the Government will consider making these changes so that those who wish to continue to serve their country have that choice.”