Saturday 27 December 2014

Soldiers’ bid to remain in force longer than 21 years

Greg Harkin

Published 07/08/2014 | 02:30

Privates and Corporals in the Irish Defence Forces must retire after 21 years of service
Privates and Corporals in the Irish Defence Forces must retire after 21 years of service

Rank-and-file soldiers have launched their first ever petition to government in a bid to remain in the Defence Forces until they are 50.

More than 1,300 members of PDFORRA – the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Force – have so far signed the petition.

Under current regulations only NCOs above the rank of sergeant and officers can continue to serve until they are 50.

Privates and corporals must retire after 21 years of service, which means some leave before their 40th birthday.

More than 120 personnel, recruited in 1994, must leave the forces next year, costing the State €2.1m in immediate gratuity payments and €1.3m in pension costs each year after that.

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