Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Ceisteanna (583)

Maria Bailey

Ceist:

583. Deputy Maria Bailey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person who is officially retired from the Department of Education and Skills, having completed the necessary 40 years’ service for pension purposes and has been compelled to retire after 40 years' service is required to sign on for jobseeker's allowance even though the person is not actively seeking work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49157/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

There is no statutory retirement age in the State, and the age at which employees retire is a matter for the contract of employment between them and their employers. Questions relating to the employment conditions, including retirement and pension arrangements, for public and civil servants are a matter for my colleague Pascal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform.

There is no obligation on a person to make a claim for any social welfare payment. Where a person exits the workforce before reaching State pension age they may apply for either the contribution based jobseeker’s benefit or the means-tested jobseeker’s allowance schemes.

Jobseeker’s payments compensate for periods of involuntary unemployment only and for this reason social welfare legislation provides that all jobseekers must satisfy certain qualifying conditions in order to be entitled to an unemployment payment including being available for and genuinely seeking full-time work.

People in receipt of a jobseeker's payment must engage with my Department's activation measures and can face sanctions if they fail to do so. However, from January 2014 these criteria were eased for people aged 62 and over, such that they are not obliged to engage with the activation process. They are still able to voluntarily avail of an array of supports, which are available from my Department if they wish to return to work, training or education.