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Proposals on possible pension age increase to go to Govt before summer recess, says minister

The Pensions Commission has recommended a gradual increase in the qualification age from 66 to 68 over the next 17 years.

SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER Heather Humphreys has said she will be bringing proposals on the pension age to Government before the summer recess.

The recommendation has been delayed going to Government, with the minister previously stating that she would bring proposals in April.  

The Pension Commission report published last October said that the State pension age should rise by three months each year from 2028 until it hits 67 in 2031.

The report also recommended that it should then gradually increase to 68 by 2039.

When asked by The Journal today about the delay, the minister said she had a Cabinet sub committee meeting last Monday week on the issue.

“We discussed it and I’m having bilateral meetings with a number of ministers. Again, as we all know, it is a complex issue. There are difficult decisions to be made here. 

“I will be meeting with my Cabinet colleagues over the next number of weeks, and I hope to bring a recommendation to Government before the summer recess,” she said. 

The Oireachtas Social Protection Committee previously recommended that the State pension should be retained at its current age of 66 and that changes to employers’ PRSI contribution rates should be examined by the Commission on Welfare and Taxation to determine the fairest way to increase the rates. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government will approach the issue of the pension age “with an open mind” following the committee’s recommendations. 

The pension age became a major, and rather unexpected, political issue in the last general election after Fianna Fáil promised to postpone the rise to 67. 

Fine Gael insisted on it going ahead, while Sinn Féin pledged to restore the pension age to 65. 

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