I acknowledge the fact Deputy Cowen has raised this issue with me on a number of occasions. I want to inform both him and the House that I will be bringing a memorandum to the Government meeting on Thursday seeking approval for the publication of the relevant Bill, which is to be entitled the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018. Subject to Government approval, which I am hopeful I will receive, my intention is to publish the Bill after the Government meeting.
The Bill will provide that any public servant reaching the age of 65 who is covered by the legislation will be in a position to remain at work until they reach the new compulsory retirement age of 70. The main provisions of the Bill drafted are as follows. The vast majority of public servants recruited prior to 1 April 2004 will have a new compulsory retirement age of 70. Those public servants will continue to accrue retirement benefits up to the new compulsory retirement age of 70, subject to a maximum of 40 years' service. The so-called uniformed pension fast accrual group, that is, gardaí, firefighters and so on, will be unaffected by these changes.
When the Bill is enacted, public servants will no longer need to avail of the temporary interim measures which allow affected public servants to retire and be rehired only until they reach the age of 66, which is the age of eligibility for the State pension. The new compulsory retirement age will not come into effect until the necessary legislation is commenced. In the meantime, the Government has approved some limited interim arrangements to apply in the period between the Government decision and the commencement of the legislation.