Thursday, 10 September 2020

Ceisteanna (84)

Martin Browne


84. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the need for some persons who work physically demanding jobs to retire at the age of 65 years of age; and if he is examining the needs of the workers in this regard. [23169/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I am responsible for policy in relation to the terms and conditions of employment of public servants. Retirement ages in the public service are provided for in primary legislation and summary details are set out in the following paragraphs and in tabular form below. Retirement arrangements in the private sector are a matter for the individual employer and employee.

- Minimum pension age is the earliest age at which a public servant may retire and receive their pension benefits without actuarial reduction. Most public servants have a minimum pension age of 60, 65 or the age of eligibility for the State Pension (currently 66), depending on their date of recruitment, as set out in the table below.

- Public servants who wish to retire before reaching minimum pension age may avail of “cost neutral early retirement” (CNER) from age 50 or 55, as set out in the table below. This means that they can retire at age 50 or 55 with immediate payment of pension benefits but their pension and lump sum are actuarially reduced to take account of the earlier payment.

- Compulsory retirement age is the age at which a public servant must retire. Most public servants recruited between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012 have no compulsory retirement age. Most other public servants have a compulsory retirement age of 70, as set out in the table below. Public servants are not obliged to remain in employment until they reach their compulsory retirement age.

The only significant exception to the retirement conditions outlined above relates to the group of employees in the public service who, due to the nature of their work, are required to retire early. This group is made up of members of An Garda Síochána, members of the Permanent Defence Force, Firefighters and Prison Officers. Members of these groups have lower minimum pension ages and lower compulsory retirement ages than other public servants. Details for these groups are not included in the table below.

Retirement ages in the public service have been reviewed as recently as 2017. I have no plans at present to undertake a further review in this area.


Retirement Ages in the Public Service

Recruitment Date

Relevant Legislation

Age eligible for CNER

Minimum Pension Age

Compulsory Retirement Age

Pre 1 April 2004

Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018




1 April 2004 to 31 Dec 2012

Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004




On or after 1 Jan 2013

Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012


Consistent with State Pension Age (currently 66)