I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 67 together.
The current position is that any paid employment after a person’s 66th birthday is not reckonable for contributory State pension purposes, nor is the employment liable to any PRSI contributions. The Government established the Commission on Pensions in November 2020 to examine the sustainability of the State pension system and the Social Insurance Fund. The commission's report, published on 7 October 2021, sets out a wide range of recommendations, including allowing a person to continue paying PRSI contributions past State pension age to improve their social insurance record for contributory State pension purposes.
The report has been referred to the Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, and to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare for their views. I understand that both the chair of the commission, Ms Josephine Feehily, and the chair of its technical sub-committee, Ms Roma Burke, appeared before the joint committee on 17 November 2021. Officials from my Department also attended that meeting.
In the interests of older people, including future generations of older people, the Government intends to consider the comprehensive and far-reaching recommendations in the commission’s report very carefully and holistically. My officials will work over the coming months to examine each of the recommendations. They will consult across government through the Cabinet committee system. It is important to complete that work before reaching conclusions. I intend to bring a recommended response and implementation plan to Government by the end of March 2022. I hope this brings some clarity to the matter.