Wednesday 21 March 2018

Leading advocacy group slams proposals to hike State pension age to 70

'Serious health implications'

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Photo: Tom Burke Newsdesk Newsdesk

A leading advocacy group has slammed proposals to increase the State pension age to 70, saying this could have "serious health implications for workers".

The Economic and Social Research Institute has recommended a number of measures to prevent the economy overheating, including that people would have to work until they're 70 to qualify for the State Pension.

However Age Action has criticised the idea, saying it could be particularly harmful for people who do physically demanding jobs.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications, said: "The pension age is already due to rise to 68 over the next ten years and we would be absolutely opposed to any suggestion to increase it again.

"Not everyone works in an office. Forcing workers in physically demanding jobs like construction, agriculture or healthcare to keep working as they age has serious health implications."

He said that we need reforms that are fair and sustainable and claimed that hiking the State Pension age isn't a good idea.

Mr Moran said: "The overwhelming majority of us are going to rely on the State Pension in retirement. We need to ensure it is fair and sustainable. But the solution is not simply to keep increasing the pension age.

"We need to abolish mandatory retirement, divert some of the money funding private pension tax breaks into the State Pension system and look at increasing social insurance contributions."

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said that the age of retirement in Ireland is something that needs to be reviewed.

Mr Moynihan said: "We believe that this is a broader issue than just raising the retirement age.

"Individuals should have the right to choose the age of their retirement, whether that is 65 or 70, especially in cases of hard physical labour and depending on their type of work.

"Many older people look forward to retirement, while others would prefer to continue in the workplace until they feel ready. ALONE is a strong advocate of allowing older people to make independent choices in their lives, and this is no exception.”

Read More: Now we face working until we are 70... if Government follows think tank advice

The ESRI has suggested the proposal to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and they also recommended that Budget Day tax cuts are postponed.

They said these measures would help us avoid "the same overheating difficulty experienced prior to the 2007/08 financial crash", the Irish Independent reports.

The body will tell a Dáil committee today that a "neutral budget" is needed to maintain economic progress.

A presentation today will also advise the Government to plan for Brexit's impact, invest in social housing and introduced a vacant site tax.

There is also a firm warning that planning needs to get under way for dealing with an older population.

Among the ways to offset the cost of an aging population is the extension of the pension age to 70, keeping people in work for longer.

As I said before..retire and go straight to grave yard! Watching a load of lazy gits enjoy a "lay about get everything for free" and laugh at the rest of us for working!

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 I believe retirement age should be 65 but with an option to continue to work until 70. Some people are forced to retire at 65 or 66 when they would prefer to continue to work. People are forced to retire at 65 but aren't entitled to a pension until 66 resulting on them having to sign on the social welfare sometimes for the first time of their life which can cause a lot of distress.

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So why not LOWER the retirement age, which would allow for a younger workforce thereby boosting moral of the younger generation, which in turn would have a knock-on effect throughout the country. There would be no loss in revenue so far as tax is concerned, in fact it could just raise it as there would probably be fewer looking for work elsewhere in the world.

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I'm an SNA do they really think people of 70 can work with young kids who can be physically demanding! At that age u want to enjoy like if ur able! Move over and let the younger generation have the jobs!!

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I'd rather work in some capacity until I'm 99. Obviously, as time goes by then the hours worked are reduced. But I think it's actually counterproductive if you retire and then become sedentary. How many people fade away after they fully retire? Too many in my mind.

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I've always thought there should be a statutory right to opt for part-time work after the age of 60, say 20-25 hours pw depends no on how you feel able for it and the nature of the job. You should be allowed slow down slowly, not abruptly as now

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If you sit at a desk in front of a screen all day have to pay membership to a gym just so you can get a bit of exercise fine!!but not everyone has that "soft" life,construction workers farmers fishermen seafares,etc do not have that "luxury" physical work takes a physical toll on the body,ok nit everybody is the same in that respect,also when you only start working in your late twenties after spending years in college a lot if my generation were out working at 16 and17 years of age,and by the way a pension is not Welfare or a Benefit as some would have us think! It is some thing we have contributed to over 40+ years of work,paying taxrs PRSI etc.

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I believe retirement should be when the person feels they are ready to retire when they have worked all their lives they should have the choice to stay if they want not when some pen pusher says so

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The qualifying age is already set to rise to 67 in 2021 and then to 68 in 2028.

The body suggests the Government should at least consider "a mix of increased contributions, delayed payments and extended working lives".

Read More: Elderly are 'left without a say on nursing homes'

In relation to the upcoming budget the think tank says: "We believe budgetary policy should be neutral, in that it should not seek to actively stimulate or contract the economy."

However, Mr Donohoe has indicated he intends to introduce some tax cuts which would be seen as an economic stimulant.

Speaking yesterday he said workers deserved some pay-back after "a period of shock and awe in relation to personal taxation."

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