Hope that 'most will work until they're 68'
The Department of Social Protection has said it hopes that most people will continue to work until they reach the new State pension age, which is set to be raised to 68 in 2028.
The remarks came in response to a call from Fianna Fáil to abolish compulsory retirement at 65 in the wake of new figures that show 5,000 people in a 'no man's land' when it comes to social welfare requirements.
With the State pension currently not kicking in until the age of 66, those who retire at 65 must sign on for the dole for a year.
Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea has said that many people are willing and able to continue working after the age of 65 and that abolishing a compulsory retirement age should form part of a multi-pronged approach to tackling Ireland's 'pensions time-bomb'.
The Irish Independent asked the department if abolishing compulsory retirement ages will be considered by the Government.
A spokeswoman said retirement age is covered by contracts between staff and employers and there is "no legal impediment" to them agreeing to increase the duration of employment if both parties wish to do so. She said if an employee believes they have been discriminated against by being compulsorily retired they can make a claim under the Employment Equality Acts, to the Workplace Relations Commission.
She said that the pension age is rising gradually to become 68 by 2028 and this is being done to make the pension system more sustainable.
"In most cases, it is hoped that workers will continue to work up to the new State pension age," she added, though where this is not possible there are measures to allow them to claim Jobseeker's Benefit after their 65th birthday.