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Pension age will not rise to 67 next year, says Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath

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Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance, Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance, Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance, Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

The State's pension age will not be pushed up to 67 next year under the proposed programme for government, Fianna Fail's finance spokesman Micheal McGrath has said.

This has previously been resisted by Fine Gael, who called for it to be increased in line with a long-running strategy aimed at reducing State pension costs with a transition payment for people until they reach 67.

The State's pension age, which is currently 66 and was due to be increased to 67 next year and 68 in 2028, has been one of the key roadblocks in the government formation talks.

However, Mr McGrath said progress has been made during the talks that will ensure the pension age will not rise next year.

He told RTÉ's Morning Ireland: "The final details will will be confirmed once the document is published but this has been an issue of considerable debate right through the election campaign, and indeed since, and it is an important issue for our party over the course of the negotiations.

"We are satisfied with the shape of what is being agreed which will ensure that the pension age is not going to increase next year."

The leaders have agreed to set up a commission on pensions which will examine a new auto-enrolment system and the contributions people will be expected to make in order to receive a State pension.

"There will be a commission on pensions to conduct a thorough examination of the issue and to make recommendations to government," he said.

"It will be open to government to consider those recommendations and to make further decisions to ensure that our system is sustainable, that there will be pensions there for people who are paying PRSI contributions into the future and indeed those who rely on the non contributory pension as well."

Mr McGrath added that there are outstanding "complex issues" that need to be discussed, saying: "We have to take into account the fact that there are many people who have contracts of employment that required them to retire, in some cases at the age of 65, and others in the case of 66.

"But the plan pension age increase next year will not proceed pending the work of that commission and any subsequent government decision in relation to its recommendation."

Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill later told RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney that the State's pension age is "still something that the leaders are discussing."

The leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green party are continuing talks this morning after failing to sign off on the programme following hours of discussions on Sunday.

The three leaders are to discuss how the new government will operate, including issues like the communications between the parties.

Independent.ie understands that the majority of the proposed programme for government has been agreed and is expected to be signed off on today.

Online Editors


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