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pension age

Proposals on State pension age to be brought to Govt 'very soon', says minister

The Pension Commission has recommended that the State pension age should rise to 67 by 2031.

SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER Heather Humphreys has said she will be bringing proposals on the pension age to a Cabinet subcommittee “very soon”.

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.

Humphreys previously said the Government would outline its full response to the Commission’s recommendations in April. 

At a jobs recruitment fair in Swords, Dublin today, the minister said she has had a briefing with her officials on the recommendations and she will be bringing her proposals to Cabinet “shortly”. 

“I’m not going to preempt any decisions that we would make as a Government,” she said. 

“I want to sit down with them and we want to get the views here. And we will make the decision, and we will make the right decision because this affects everybody,” said the minister. 

The State pension is the “bedrock” of the Irish pension system and the Government wants to maintain that, she said.

“This is a whole of Government issue, because nothing has changed here,” she said, adding that the current situation, due to changing population demographics, is not sustainable.

“I’m looking at the report, it is a very extensive report… I am going through it in detail, I have read it all and I will read it again, and going through it with my officials so I will be bringing proposals to Government and we’ll have a discussion at the Cabinet subcommittee on it and decide the best way forward,” she said. 

“Because there’s difficult decisions here. There’s no point in me fudging that. So I will be dealing with this very soon,” she said. 

The Oireachtas Social Protection Committee has 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 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 last year’s 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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