Pension age increase will put people on the dole says local TD

by Padraig Conlon

An attempt to stop Government proposals to increase the pension age will have the support of a Dublin Mid West TD when it is debated in the Dáil.

Local Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward says the planned increase in the pension age to 67  in January 2021 and to 68 years in 2028 means that workers, and especially those approaching retirement, may not access their State Pension at 66 years, as is now the case.

Deputy Ward says his party’s Bill to stop upcoming pension age increases will be debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks.

“These increases will see Ireland have one of the highest pension ages in the world,” Ward said.

“At the moment those obliged by contract to retire at 65 years are forced on to a jobseekers payment for one year before accessing their State Pension at 66 years.

“From next year, retirees will be forced on to a jobseekers payment for two years.

“This is a ridiculous and unacceptable situation for people who have worked hard and paid their taxes, in some cases, for a lifetime.

“This will see Ireland have a pension age that is well ahead of the majority of our EU counterparts. Our nearest neighbours England do not plan to move their pension age to 68 years until 2046, eighteen years after Ireland.

“Our Bill calling on the Government to establish a Pension Age Task Force would look at pension age and make recommendations based on evidence rather than cost saving measures. This Bill will be debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks.

“Nobody due to retire should be forced on to a jobseekers payment. I hope that all parties and none will support this Sinn Féin Bill,” Deputy Ward added.

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