A question of age
In the past few years, considerable steps have been taken to ensure that the workplace is free of discriminatory remarks and "bullying". At present, the law focuses on issues of sex, race and disability. In 2006, this will extend to age discrimination. A comment such as the one you mention would constitute a definite breach of this future law. Under this law, employers will have to give proper consideration to an employee's wish to work beyond the age of 65. Perhaps it will also help those new to the profession who are faced with job applications that state "10 years' experience in teaching", clearly a criterion much harder for a younger teacher to meet, and which could also be construed as indirectly discriminatory.