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President signs bill that allows public servants work until they're 70

The State pension age is scheduled to increase to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

Updated Dec 26th 2018, 1:49 PM

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has signed into law a bill that increases the age of retirement for public servants.

The Public Servant Superannuation (age of Retirement Bill) follows an interim arrangement by the government last year that allowed staff reaching 65 to be hired back for a period of one year.

The new law increases the retirement age to 70.

There was concern expressed last month that public servants wishing to continue working could be forced into retirement if the bill did not pass through the Dáil before the Christmas period and their birthdays fell over the holidays.

The bill did pass through all stages and this morning President Higgins signed it into law.

Welcoming today’s news, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe thanked TDs and senators for “their support in advancing the legislation” ahead of the New Year. 

“The legislation will apply to most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004, other than the designated uniform grades such as gardaí, prison officers, firefighters and members of the permanent Defence Forces,” he noted. 

He also explained that any public servant covered by the legislation, who has not reached their compulsory retirement age before today has a new compulsory retirement age of 70.

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Public servants “now have the choice to work beyond the age of 65 to age 70, on existing terms and conditions if they so choose, subject to the normal standards of health and performance etc”, he added. 

The new compulsory retirement age of 70 reflects the fact that people are living longer, healthier lives and that many wish to remain at work for longer because they feel they have more to contribute to work and to society.”

The State pension age is scheduled to increase to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.

The new compulsory retirement age of 70 will bring the pre-2004 cohort of public servants into line with members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.

The scheme was introduced for most new recruits to the public service since 1 January 2013. It allows post-2004 public servants to work until they reach the age of 70.

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