Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dutch case casts doubt on move to raise pension age to 68

At the start of 2014, the traditional State pension paid from the age of 65 ceased to exist.
At the start of 2014, the traditional State pension paid from the age of 65 ceased to exist.
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The decision to raise the State pension age has been cast into doubt after a Dutch court found against a similar move there.

Partner in Dublin law firm Mason Hayes & Curran, Stephen Gillick, said it was open to those affected by the change to take a similar case here. A successful challenge could limit the State's ability to alter the pension age. He said he was surprised there had not already been a challenge.

At the start of 2014, the traditional State pension paid from the age of 65 ceased to exist.

This means that instead of getting the full contributory pension of €230.30 a week, those who retire from that date will instead have to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance, which is paid at a rate of €188 a week. It is means tested, whereas the State pension is not.

Concerned

By 2028 the qualification age for the State pension is set to rise to age 68.

The Dutch case concerned a 60-year-old widow in poor health. She was being paid a widow's pension but would cease to be entitled to payment when she reached 65. As the Dutch state pension is not payable until age 67, it left the widow with a two-year income gap.

The Dutch court found that raising the pension age could be considered a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Department of Social Protection responded that case law indicated the change would not be considered a breach of rights where there are valid policy reasons, notably related to State finances.

Irish Independent

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