Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (297)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

297. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection her estimate of the saving to the State that will arise in 2014 from the raising of the pension age to 66 years and the abolition of the State pension transition; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11618/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Social structures in Ireland are changing rapidly and social supports need to change to accommodate this. The decision to increase State pension age was taken in the context of changing demographics and the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives. The standardisation of State pension age to age 66 is one of the measures planned which aims to improve the sustainability of the Irish pension system. As provided for in legislation, State pension age will further increase to age 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028. These changes were provided for in the Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2011. Estimates at that time indicated that the gross estimated savings in 2014 were expected to be in the region of €30 million with a full year savings in 2015 of approximately €60 million. These savings take into account claimants who would instead receive various other social welfare payments, including jobseeker benefits.