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State Pension (Contributory)

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2020

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (723)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

723. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the position regarding the planned State pension (contributory) age increase to 67 years of age in January 2021 and 68 years of age in January 2028; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15010/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2011 provided for increases to the State pension age to make the State pension system more sustainable as life expectancy increases. This began in January 2014 with the abolition of the State Pension (Transition). This measure standardised the State pension age for all at 66 years. The legislation provides for increases to the State pension age - to 67 in 2021 and further to 68 in 2028.

The new Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” states that the planned increase in the State pension age next year will be deferred. This will require amendment to primary legislation.

Furthermore, a Commission on Pensions will be established to examine sustainability and eligibility issues in relation to State pensions and the Social Insurance Fund. The Commission is to report to Government by June 2021 on options including the qualifying age, contribution rates, total contributions and eligibility requirements. The Government will take action, having regard to the recommendations of the Commission, within six months. Pending the Commission's report and any subsequent Government decisions on its recommendations, it is intended that the State pension age will remain at 66 years.

The Programme also proposes an “Early Retirement Allowance or Pension” for 65 year olds paid at the same rate as Jobseekers Benefit without a requirement to sign on, partake in any activation measures or be available for and genuinely seeking work.

I hope this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

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