Compulsory retirement age in public sector to be raised to 70

  • 6 Dec 2017
  • Irish Independent
  • Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor –

THE compulsory retirement age for public sector workers is to rise to 70 under plans to be announced today, the Irish Independent understands.

Workers will be allowed to retain their jobs for five years longer than is currently the case in a bid to overcome an anomaly that has left thousands of people on the dole.

Under existing rules public servants are required to leave their job at 65, but are unable to receive the State pension until they turn 66.

As a result an estimated 5,000 older people are currently in a ‘no man’s land’ when it comes to social welfare entitlements.

These people are obliged to sign for the dole and formally pretend they are “available for work” until they qualify for the old-age pension 12 months after being forced out of the workplace.

The problem was to be compounded in 2021 when the pension age increases to 67. And within a decade the pension age is due to rise to 68.

The Irish Independent previously revealed that OPW Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran sought changes to the compulsory retirement age during negotiations for last October’s budget.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe commissioned a review of the situation which has now recommended the retirement age be gradually increased to 70.

However, there is no requirement on workers to remain in the workforce until this age if they wish to retire earlier.

Mr Moran said he was delighted with the development.

“It’s something I’ve been campaigning about since the Independent Alliance entered negotiations for Government,” he said.

“I believe if people are forced to retire at 65 and don’t get a pension until 68, it makes no sense. Let’s call a spade a spade, they are been forced onto social welfare.

“Now they will be entitled to continue working if they want. And if they don’t, they can retire.”

He described the announcement to be made by Mr Donohoe today as “a big win all around”.

The move is likely to receive cross-party support as Fianna Fáil’s social protection spokesman Willie O’Dea previously called for the abolition of the compulsory retirement age.

While there is no single fixed retirement age for employees, many workplaces do set 65 years as the exit date in their employee contracts.

The retirement age in the public sector for most workers who joined before 2013 is 65 years, which constitutes the vast majority of those still working.

For those who joined since January 1, 2013, the retirement age is 66.


3 Responses to Compulsory retirement age in public sector to be raised to 70

  1. Eugene December 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    Where are the Gardai in all of this. Currently they have to go at 60, will they be allowed to go on to 63, 65, 70 ? . I heard firemen are mentioned as not qualifying, Some Gardai reaching 60 have been looking to stay longer, I don’t really know why, but some seem to love the job.

    • Gensec December 6, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

      Like everything new that is introduced. It will have a commencement date. Gardaí are unlikely to be included in this new arrangement, but I’m sure the Staff Associations shall fight that good cause.

  2. patrick joseph mc December 6, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    One would need to read the small print to get the detail ,The retirement age for the Gardai post 2013 is 55 with an early extension until 60 on medical and other criteria ,Pension regulations are different and there is provision under public service pension regulations of moving within the wider public service.Each pension will be individualized based on service There are currently four public Service pensions schemes at least The big dates are 1995 2004 20012 2013 ,

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