‘Pension age increase re-writes the social contract in Ireland’, says ALONE

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people at home, has today said that it rejects the recommendation from the Pensions Commission on increasing the State Pension age. The Commission recommended that the State Pension be increased, on a gradual basis, to 68 years of age.

<The organisation said that there are recommendations which are welcome, such as indexing and benchmarking the pension rate to 34% of average years, introducing an automatic enrolment system and aligning employment contracts with retirement ages to name a few. However, further details are needed on the implementation of these recommendations from Government.

Responding to the Pensions Commission recommendations, CEO Seán Moynihan commented: “There are some recommendations that ALONE broadly welcomes and we hope that more details on recommendations such as indexing and benchmarking will become available. As this is a comprehensive report, we will take more time to further reflect on the Commission’s findings.

“We welcome the fact that the Commission has recommended greater flexibility in accessing the State Pension. However, we are disappointed to see that the Commission has proposed an increase in the State Pension age. This, we believe, fundamentally re-writes the social contract in Ireland.

“People expect to retire at a reasonable age, gradually increasing the State Pension age is not an option. We simply reject the idea that keeping pension age 66 is unsustainable. We know that this is not the case.

“As highlighted by the Department of Finance, pension expenditure is set to increase from 7.4 per cent of GNI* in 2019 to 12.3 per cent in 2070, while age-related expenditure at the other of the life-cycle, such as education, are set to decrease. Thus, with adequate planning and provision would allow Ireland to avoid increasing its pension age.”