To:       All public service employers

Re:       Increase in compulsory retirement age for pre-2004 public servants.  Likely developments over Christmas holiday period

Progress of Retirement Age Legislation

I refer to previous engagement on this matter.  As you are aware, the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 provides for an increase in the compulsory retirement age of most pre-2004 public servants from age 65 to age 70.  These public servants generally have a compulsory retirement age of 65 at present.  The Bill has now been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.  Once it is signed by the President, it will come into law immediately.

Enactment of Bill

Under the Constitution, if the President intends to sign a Bill into law, he must do so on the 5th, 6th or 7th day after it is presented for his signature.  It is expected that the Bill will be presented to the President for signature on Friday 21 December.  It is likely, therefore, that the Bill will be signed by the President over the Christmas holiday period on or after 26 December.

Staff Affected

The new compulsory retirement age will come into effect on the date that the Bill is signed into law by the President.  That means that any relevant public servant who has not already reached his/her compulsory retirement age before that date, will have a new compulsory retirement age of 70 and will have the choice to work beyond the age of 65 to age 70 if they so choose.  Even if a person has applied for the interim arrangements, he/she will be covered by the legislation as long as he/she has not already reached the compulsory retirement age before the date that the Bill is signed by the President.

Staff on Interim Arrangements

Enactment of the legislation will have no effect on those public servants who are currently availing of the interim arrangements, whereby they have retired and been rehired for a period of 1 year until they reach the age of 66.  The terms of their fixed term contracts will continue to apply and they will cease working at age 66 as previously provided.

Action Required

Perhaps you would bring this information to the attention of staff.  Government Departments who have public service bodies under their aegis should also bring this notice to the attention of those bodies.

As soon as we have been informed that the President has signed the Bill into law, we will make that information available on the Department’s website (  That information will also be available on the President’s website (


Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

20 December 2018