Jobs For Life Extended Even Longer

06 Dec 2017 | 04.05 pm

Jobs For Life Extended Even Longer

Public sector workers can work up to 70

06 Dec 2017 | 04.05 pm

Public sector workers will be able to stay in their jobs until the age of 70 under the terms of new legislation sponsored by finance minister Paschal Donohoe (pictured), but if that means working more than 40 years their pension entitlement will not grow any further.

The minimum pension age (the earliest date at which someone can retire and receive their pension) will not be affected by the new arrangements, which apply to those recruited before April 2004. People recruited since then either have a a retirement age of 70 or else no compulsory retirement age.

Until new legislation is passed, public servants reaching the age of 65 will have the right to be re-hired so that they remain in employment up to the state pension age, which is currently 66. 

Donohue said: “Many pensioners feel that they have earned their pension and should not have to ‘sign on’ as a jobseeker in order to receive a portion of it. Many would prefer to continue to work to normal state pension age, rather than engage in this process, which is likely to become more protracted as the age of eligibility for the state pension increases in 2021 and 2028.”

He added that many want to continue to work beyond 65 because they are fit and healthy and feel they have more to contribute. “By extending the compulsory retirement age to 70, I am addressing both of these issues, while at the same time bringing the compulsory retirement age of this group into line with that of new recruits since January 2013.”

Under government policy, the state pension age will eventually be 70 years, meaning that the entire labour force, and not just public servants, will be required to extend its working life.

This, in turn, will reduce the number of available vacancies for young people entering the workforce, at least for a significant ‘bedding down’ period, so that efforts to reduce the state pension bill may well be offset by even higher jobseeker allowance bills for the state in future, not to mention the social and economic costs resulting from shutting off opportunities to an entire generation of new workers and the demoralisation they are likely to suffer.

An interdepartmental group was set up in 2016 to examine what the government euphemistically titled “fuller” — meaning longer — working lives. Its report in August 2016 inspired the current moves, which arise from the deliberations of a review group which was established subsequently and recently presented its conclusions.

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