Sunday 21 October 2018

All public servants can retire at 70 from next year

Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Anne-Marie Walsh

ALL public servants will be able to work until they are 70 under new laws to be brought in next year.

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, has cabinet approval to raise the compulsory retirement age from 65 to 70 for the vast bulk of state workers.

Workers who have joined the public service since 2013 already have a maximum retirement age of 70 and the new legislation will extend this to all workers.

But nobody will be forced to work this long and can retire at the minimum retirement age, which varies depending on when they joined.

The new rules will not apply to frontline workers including gardai and firefighters who are on fast-track pension schemes, and can retire in their 50s on full pensions.

Mr Donohoe said many workers are healthier and in a position to work longer while the state pension cannot be claimed until 66, which has created a gap of a year before they can claim the state pension.

He said legislation will be brought before the Oireachtas early next year.

He acknowledged that the move is likely to lead to a higher public service pay bill as workers near retirement will be at the top of their pay scales but said this will be offset by the fact that lump-sums will be paid later.

He said the Workplace Relations Commission is working on a code of practice to address the same one year gap that exists in the private sector before workers can draw the state pension.

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