Policy change reflects fact that people are living longer, are leading healthier lives and feel they have more to contribute in later life

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD, has recently secured the Government’s approval for the publication of the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018, which provides for an increase to age 70 in the compulsory retirement age for most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004. The Minister published the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 today.

Minister Donohoe stated that: ‘Once this Bill has been enacted, no public servant, other than a member of the uniformed pension fast accrual group*, such as, for example, Gardai or Prison Officers who, for operational reasons are required to retire early, will be required to retire before the age of 70’.

“I am very pleased that we will be in a position to enable these public servants to bridge the gap between their current compulsory retirement, which for most is age 65, and the age of eligibility for the State Pension which is currently 66.  I also recognised that allowing public servants to work to a higher age reflects the fact that people are living longer, are leading healthier lives and feel they have more to contribute to work and to society until a later age.”

The new compulsory retirement age of 70 will also, the Minister explained, bring this pre 2004 cohort of public servants into line with members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, which was introduced for most new recruits to the public service since 1 January 2013 and which also allows those public servants to work until they reach the age of 70.

Minister Donohoe concluded: ‘This Bill was on the Government’s priority list of legislation for publication in the current session.  Now that the Bill has been approved by Government is it being published. I look forward to bringing the legislation through the Oireachtas and securing its early enactment. In the meantime, the interim arrangements approved by Government last December, which allow public servants who reach the age of 65 to remain at work until they reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension will remain in place.”

Please find a link to the Bill here, the Explanatory Memorandum here, and a Regulatory Impact Assessment here.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

On 5 December 2017, the Government agreed that the compulsory retirement age of most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 should be increased to age 70 and that such additional service would continue to accrue retirement benefits, subject to the maximum of 40 years’ service.

For the most part, this group of public servants currently have a compulsory retirement age of 65.  Public Servants recruited after 1 April 2004 are not affected by the changes in the published Bill.  They either already have a retirement age of 70 (Single Pension Scheme members) or have no compulsory retirement age (those recruited between April 2004 and December 2012).  The new compulsory retirement age will not come into effect until the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 is enacted and commenced.

At the time of the Government’s original decision last December, some limited interim arrangements were approved to apply in the period between the Government Decision and the commencement of the necessary legislation.  The interim arrangements allow pre 2004 public servants who reach the age of 65 in that period to remain in employment only until they reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension (Contributory), which is currently 66, subject to certain conditions.  These arrangements will continue to apply until the Bill is commenced.

*Last December, the Government agreed that the compulsory retirement age for the uniformed fast accrual group of employees, i.e. Gardaí, Prison Officers, Members of the Permanent Defence Force and Firefighters, could only be dealt with at sectoral level where the detailed policy, operational and manpower issues relevant to those groups could be appropriately considered. On that basis, the Government agreed that retirement ages for these groups would remain a matter for the respective Ministers.  Members of this group are, therefore, specifically excluded from the current Bill.  Also excluded are groups who, by convention, have no compulsory retirement age e.g. President and Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and certain groups whose retirement age is set out in Courts legislation, such as the Judiciary.

Contacts

Deborah Sweeney, Press Adviser to Minister Donohoe: 086 858 6878

Ben Sweeney, Press Officer, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: 085 806 9313