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Transitional payment for retirees at same rate as State pension to avoid anomaly confirmed

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Pledge: Social protection minister Regina Doherty. Photo: Frank McGrath

Pledge: Social protection minister Regina Doherty. Photo: Frank McGrath

Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

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Pledge: Social protection minister Regina Doherty. Photo: Frank McGrath

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has said Fine Gael plans to introduce a transition payment at the same rate as the State pension to avoid people having to apply for the dole when they retire.

Mr Varadkar was responding to growing disquiet among voters over the government’s plan to raise the retirement age to 67 next year. This will force some workers whose contracts require them to retire at 65 or 66 to apply for jobseekers’ allowance, which is lower than the State pension.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Adare, Co Limerick this evening, Mr Varadkar said: "We're working on the details of that now. Certainly what people are saying to us on the doors and on the streets, what are candidates are saying back to us, is that there is an anomaly.

"There are people who are required by their contracts to retire at 65 or 66, before the new retirement age, and they don't want to have to sign on and we hear that, we get that, we accept that's a problem.

"So we're working on a proposal to put in place a form of state transition pension that means that people will in those circumstances be able to get their pension early."

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has confirmed that it will be set at the same rate as the Contributory State Pension at just under €250 per week.

"During the consultative phase for our current pensions reform - for a new total contributions model – the issue of those who retire at 66, yet have to wait until the official pension age to receive their state pension, arose on a number of occasions.

"Having worked on alternatives and having secured the agreement of party colleagues, we decided on a new transition payment to resolve this issue.

"Tonight, I can confirm that this new transition pension will be paid at a rate equivalent to the Contributory State Pension. This change provides financial certainty to people retiring at 66," she said.

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