No change to CoE clergy retirement age planned

There are no plans to change the Church of England’s mandatory retirement age of 70 for clergy, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament this week.

In written statement released on 31 March 2014 in response to a question from the Rt. Hon. Frank Field, the member for Birkenhead (Lab) and a member of the Church of England’s General Synod, Sir Tony Baldry MP said there were no plans to change the “compulsory retirement age for clergy.”

Sir Tony noted the retirement age of 70 for stipendiary clergy was set by “the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limits) Measure 1975 and there are no plans for introducing amending legislation though the subject is kept under review.”

However, there was “some flexibility” in the law, he noted. “Extensions for up to two years beyond 70 are possible for incumbents where the bishop believes there are sufficient pastoral reasons and for up to a year for archbishops and bishops. In addition parish clergy may under the common tenure arrangements move to a new status on reaching the retirement age and, with the agreement of the bishop, continue to minister for fixed term periods.”

“Reverting to the pre 1975 situation of no retirement ages or significantly increasing the present retirement age are unlikely to be options,” he said until the new system introduce in 2011 of vetting clergy via “capability requirements have proved themselves and apply to the great majority of clergy.”

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