Public service retirement age set to rise

The age of retirement in the public sector is being raised

Now State workers can retire at 70 to avoid dole

"As public health continues to improve and people are living longer, we need to address this both financially and practically. Compulsory retirement for public servants has been mandatory at 65 for decades and Fine Gael's common sense and pragmatic approach will see a major shift in this policy for good".

Many private sector workers who are obliged to retire at 65 and who will not receive their State pensions until age 66 - or 67 from 2021 and 68 in 2028 - would share these views.

This change will primarily affect anyone who has joined the public service before 2004.

In the Civil Service, those employed before April 2004 had a compulsory retirement age of 65 under regulations dating back to the mid-1950s.

However the Government's new reforms for the public service has already led to questions about what it plans to do about workers in the private sector.

When asked about any extensions, he said, "This has to be agreed between the employee and employer", stressing that "mutual consent" will be essential, but "in the vast majority of cases, it will be granted". "They have the option to work longer".

Mr Moran said dole payments are roughly €50 a week lower than the State pension.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: "Many older workers are afraid of losing their job for no other reason than turning 65".

He said he hoped to bring legislation before the Oireachtas early in the new year.

It is to deal with an anomaly where people were being made to retire at 65, but could not access their state pensions until a year later.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe announced interim arrangements which, pending new legislation, will allow public servants who reach the age of 65 and who wish to remain working, to retire and be rehired so that they remain in employment up to the State pension age, which is now 66.

"This announcement will mean nothing to many thousands of older workers in the private sector who will not benefit from these changes", he said.

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