As the Deputy is aware, on 5 December 2017, the Government agreed that the compulsory retirement age of most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 should be increased to age 70. Primary legislation is required for this change to be implemented. The Attorney General’s Office has been requested to prioritise the drafting of the necessary legislation so that the new compulsory retirement age will become effective as soon as possible.
It is not possible to determine the length of time it will take for a Bill to be drafted and pass through both Houses of the Oireachtas, given the need for meticulous drafting, ongoing detailed policy considerations, and the scheduling requirements of the Houses of the Oireachtas. However, the drafting process is underway and the Bill is on the list of priority legislation for publication in the current session. Indeed, I understand that the drafting of the legislation is significantly advanced with an expected publication date, subject to Government approval, of next month.
In order to make some accommodation for public servants who reach the age of 65 in the period between the Government Decision of 5 December and the commencement of the necessary legislation, the Government approved some limited interim arrangements which became effective from the date of the Government Decision. The interim arrangements (which have to respect the current statutory position of the compulsory retirement age of 65) will, through retire and re-hire, enable pre 2004 public servants who reach the age of 65 to remain in employment until they reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension (Contributory), which is currently 66. Details of these interim implementation arrangements have been put in place by the relevant sectors.