Working into older age should be a choice, not an obligation

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today welcomed the recommendations published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection in response to the report of the Commission on Pensions.

The Committee made a number of recommendations, most notably recommending that the pension age remain at 66.

In responding to the Committee’s report, ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan commented, “We fundamentally believe that working into older age should be a choice, not an obligation. We welcome the Committee’s recommendations, particularly on keeping the qualifying pension age at 66. For many people, working into your late sixties is simply not possible due to labour intensive jobs such as construction, retail and frontline healthcare.

“Proponents of increasing the pension age often state that maintaining the current pension age will be financially unsustainable. However, while pension expenditure is set to increase from 7.4 per cent of GNI* in 2019 to 11.2 per cent in 2040[1], age-related expenditures at the other end of the life-cycle, such as education, are set to decrease. Thus, adequate tax planning and equitable reform would allow Ireland to avoid increasing its pension age.“

“There is an urgent need for a reformed pension system. We need a system that provides older people with an income above the poverty line in retirement, that addresses the gender pension gap and allows flexible working into older age for those who wish to continue to work. We need a fair and just pension system for all. What is often not measured is the benefit that retired workers have on the community and often their contributions to social good save the state millions of euros, some of which would be lost by increasing the retirement age.“

“We hope that Minister Heather Humphreys will fully examine the Committee’s recommendations and ensure that these recommendations help inform her view of the future of Ireland’s pension system.”