Labour calls for Pension Commission to address a range of issues
In a submission to the Commission on Pensions, Labour Social Protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock recommended the retention of the pension age at 66, action to address the gender gap and recognition of the work of carers, alongside a range of other measures that the Labour Party wants to see addressed.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“Many workers now reaching the age of 66 have already made 45 years of social insurance contributions, and many are affected by mandatory retirement at the age of 65. We are living longer, and we do need to prepare for longer working lives, but the State pension age can and should be maintained at 66.
“In our submission to the Pension Commission, I outlined a range of measures I want to see addressed, including a State Pension Transition Payment in line with retirement rates, and a gender proofing of all pension policies. Specifically I want to see increased recognition for unpaid work, and the work of carers.
“The Pensions Commission must develop with a set of recommendations that speak to flexibility and the issue of people who work in labour-intensive or extremely stressful jobs. This involves front-line workers, nurses and doctors in the current climate. If these citizens have done so many years’ work and are retiring well in advance of 65, a framework should be set up to protect them in order that they do not lose their entitlements
“In summary, the Labour Party has recommended:
1. Retaining the pension age at 66.
2. Continued and detailed engagement with Civic Society & Trade Unions.
3. Ensuring a pension process which gives every citizen decency, dignity and a basic standard of living.
4. Formalise the State Pension Transition Payment to be in line with State Pension rates.
5. Allow flexibility on retirement age, should a person so desire to continue working.
6. Gender proof all State pension policies, to ensure that there is no bias against older women.
7. Increase recognition for unpaid work, and particularly for the work of carers.
8. Link social protection payments, including pensions to the cost of living, based on a new national cost of living index.
“While the Pensions Commission report will be a valuable contribution to this policy area, the Commission itself cannot be the final arbiter of this matter and it will require political commitment from the Government to address these issues.”