Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (67)

Jack Chambers

Question:

67. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a matter relating to the plans to increase the compulsory retirement age in the pubic sector (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41312/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 was published on 9 July and passed all stages in the Seanad on 17 July. The Bill is being treated as a priority and the intention is to secure enactment of the legislation as early as possible in the current term.

Once the Bill is enacted and commenced, the majority of public servants recruited prior to 1 April 2004 will have a new compulsory retirement age of 70. For the most part, these public servants currently have a compulsory retirement age of 65.

Until the commencement of the Bill, the current compulsory retirement age continues to apply and public servants reaching the age of 65 are required to retire. To accommodate public servants who reach the age of 65 in the period between the Government Decision to increase the retirement age and the commencement of the necessary legislation, I arranged for the introduction of interim arrangements.

The interim arrangements must respect the current statutory position of the compulsory retirement age of 65. They provide a temporary solution to affected public servants by allowing them to be re-hired for a period of one year, until they reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension (66). Their new employment contracts make provision for this arrangement.

The general policy across the public service is that, where a retired employee is re-hired, they are paid at the minimum point of the relevant scale, rather than at the pay point they had reached when they retired. This practice is continuing in the context of the interim arrangements.

Once the Bill is commenced the practice of payment at the minimum point will not apply to public servants who choose to remain beyond the age of 65. Those public servants will not be in the position of having retired and been re-hired.

In a case where a public servant makes an application for the interim arrangements and the legislation referred to above is commenced before the individual reaches the age of 65, he/she will be covered by the proposed legislation. Public servants covered by the legislation, who reach the age of 65 after the date of its commencement, will be able to remain at work on current terms and conditions, including pay, up to the age of 70.