Public servants will now have the choice to work to age 70 if they so choose

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD, have announced that the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 has come into effect following its signing by the President today (26th of December 2018).

In announcing the enactment of the Bill, Minister Donohoe thanked members of both Houses of the Oireachtas for their support in advancing the legislation, allowing it to pass both Houses in advance of the New Year.  The legislation will apply to most public servants recruited before 1st April 2004, other than the designated uniform grades such as Gardaí, Prison Officers, Fire Fighters and members of the Permanent Defence Force.

Minister Donohoe explained that any public servant covered by the legislation, who has not reached their compulsory retirement age before today (26th of December 2018) has a new compulsory retirement age of 70.  They 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.

Minister Donohoe welcomed the change in the compulsory retirement age and said that “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”.

Minister of State O’Donovan also welcomed the change saying “This is a great step forward for the public service and will ensure that we do not prematurely lose the wealth of experience built up in the public service”.

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 would be increased to age 70 and that such additional service would continue to accrue retirement benefits, subject to a maximum of 40 years’ service.

For the most part, this group of public servants had a compulsory retirement age of 65.  Public Servants recruited after 1 April 2004 are not affected by the changes in the Act.  They either already have a retirement age of 70 (Single Pension Scheme members) or have no compulsory retirement age (those recruited between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012).

Most pre-2004 public servants are covered by the new Act, other than a member of the uniformed pension fast accrual group, such as Gardai, Prison Officers, Fire Fighters and members of the Permanent Defence Force who, for operational reasons are required to retire early.

Now that the legislation has come into effect, no public servant, other than a member of the uniformed pension fast accrual group mentioned above has a compulsory retirement age of less than 70.

The Bill was published on 9 July 2018 and was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas on 20 December 2018.  It has now been signed into law by the President and is effective immediately.

That means that any relevant public servant who has not reached their compulsory retirement age before today (26th of December 2018), has a new compulsory retirement age of 70. They now have the choice to work beyond the age of 65 to age 70, if they so choose, on existing terms and conditions, subject to the normal standards of health and performance etc.

Enactment of the legislation will have no effect on those public servants who are availing of the interim arrangements, which were brought into effect from the date of the Government Decision to increase the compulsory retirement age on 5 December 2017.  These public servants have retired and been rehired for a period of 1 year until they reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension (Contributory), which is 66.  The terms of their fixed term contracts will continue to apply and they will cease working at age 66 as previously provided.

More details are available in this letter to Public Service employers: https://www.per.gov.ie/en/public-service-superannuation-age-of-retirement-bill-2018/