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Gary Gannon TD

Immediate clarity needed from Minister on several issues

There are significant ambiguities in the Government’s pension proposal that need to be addressed, according to Social Democrats Social Protection spokesperson Gary Gannon.

“I welcome the introduction of flexibility in the pension system – with workers being given the option of retiring at 66 or up to the age of 70, with an increased pension entitlement.

“Workers should not be forced to work beyond the age of 66, particularly those who work in extremely physical jobs in sectors like construction and nursing. Equally, workers should have a choice about continuing to work beyond the current retirement age if they wish.

“However, there are significant ambiguities in the Government’s proposal that need to be clarified – not least the extent of any hole in the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) and the additional cost of providing for choice in the retirement age.

“It is concerning that, in an interview on RTE’s News At One programme today, Minister Heather Humphreys appeared focused on increases to employees’ PRSI, as a means to bridge any gap in the SIF, when the level of employers’ PRSI in Ireland is far below the EU average.

“Further, the Government has yet to explain how existing employment contracts, which stipulate a retirement age of 65, will interact with this new measure. As it stands, the State cannot introduce a law that retrospectively changes contracts of employment.”

September 20, 2022

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