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Oireachtas group backs scrapping of compulsory retirement age

The committee heard during public consultation that the imposition of mandatory retirement is “deeply ageist”.

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has backed a proposed bill to ban employers from imposing a mandatory retirement age on their employees.

In a report published today, the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality said it hoped the remaining stages of the legislation could be seen to “as quickly as possible”.

The committee held a day of hearings with groups representing elderly people last month after the second stage of the Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2014 was completed in the Dáil.

The report said key stakeholders told members of the committee that mandatory retirement is “deeply ageist” and contributes to older people being viewed as “invisible” or “a burden on society”.

The committee heard that forced retirement can place individuals at risk of losing their homes and cause them to neglect their health as a result of their income being dramatically reduced.

‘Changing workforce’

The chair of the committee, Fine Gael TD David Stanton, said in a statement: “The report we are launching today is marked by its progressive nature, one that takes account of our changing workforce and aging population.

More and more people are willing and able to work past the age of 65; indeed many need to do so in order to make ends meet.

Labour TD Anne Ferris, who tabled the bill in October, said it also aims to address “the growing anomaly” whereby people who retire at 65 are only entitled to receive state pensions a year later.

Exceptions are expected to be provided for workers in security-related areas such as the Garda Síochána, however.

Read: This chart shows how hard Irish people work for their pensions

Read: ‘I remember feeling washed up and fearing I would never work again’

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