Minister Howlin establishes group to examine labour market and retirement age issue

19 January 2016

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin TD, has announced the establishment of an Interdepartmental Group, led by his Department, to examine the issues arising from prevailing retirement ages for workers in both the public and private sectors, in the context of the increase in the State Pension age from 65 to 66 in 2014.

Retirement age will become more significant as the age of eligibility for the State Pension increases in the coming years to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028. The Minister has asked the Group to report back to him within six months with its assessment and recommendations for a policy framework aimed at supporting longer working lives.

Commenting on this initiative, the Minister said: “I believe that the establishment of this Group is timely. We face significant demographic related expenditure pressures with the number of people aged 65 and over set to increase dramatically in the years and decades ahead. Already, the annual cost of the State Pension is rising by more than €200m a year. 

“Therefore, we need a policy framework to support longer working lives – one which complements key pension reform decisions already taken to address this challenge both in the area of the State Pension but also public service pensions.  The issue is a complex one, touching on a number of areas of Government policy, which is why a joined-up cross-departmental approach is needed.  I look forward to the Group’s report later this year.”

The Group being established by the Minister will be chaired by a senior official from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Ministers for Social Protection; Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Justice and Equality; Health; and Education and Skills will be invited to nominate senior level representatives from their Departments to participate in the Group.

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