Social Protection Committee recommends State Pension age should remain at 66 – Naughten

In News, Older People by Denis Naughten

The Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands has today,  published its report in response to the final report published by the Commission on Pensions, says Committee Cathaoirleach, Denis Naughten.

The Committee’s report is also published in response to a request from Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys who previously asked the Committee to consider the report and provide its views.

The Pension Commission’s report has stated that the current State Pension is not sustainable in its current form and changes are needed.

The Committee recommends that the current pension age be retained.

In total, the Committee has made 13 recommendations in response to the Report of the Commission on Pensions with the aim of ensuring the sustainable provision of the State Pension into the future.

During its examination of the issue, the Committee engaged with several individuals and organisations including the Department of Social Protection, the Commission on Pensions, Age Action, the Economic and Social Research Institute, Family Carers Ireland, SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Some of the Committee’s key recommendations:
· The qualifying age for the State pension should remain at age 66;
· Legislation should be developed to ban the use of mandatory retirement clauses in existing as well as new employment contracts.
· The proposal to move workers over the age of 66 to Class K PRSI is rejected;
· Changes to Employers’ PRSI contribution rates should be examined by the Commission on Welfare and Taxation to determine the fairest way to increase Employers’ PRSI contribution rates.
· The cap on credited contributions should be eliminated in view of the importance of nurturing and caring work in our society.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Denis Naughten said: “The State Pension is an important part of Ireland’s social protection measures. It is an acknowledgement of the work people have carried out across society whether in employment, in the home or as a Family Carer. It helps to prevent many of those in receipt of the State Pension from entering poverty and enjoying a reasonable standard of living.”

“However, the provision of the State Pension is dependent on the collection of PRSI receipts. As the Committee was informed, it is expected that the PRSI base will contract significantly over the coming decades and this will affect the available funding. The Committee is strongly of the view that the State Pension must be protected and that no further increases to the qualifying age should take place. The Committee held many discussions regarding the development of new funding mechanisms to ensure that the current pension age is maintained.”

“The Joint Committee will continue to engage with both the Minister, and the Department of Social Protection, throughout our Work Programme, and it is my intention that we will seek regular updates from the Department on the implementation of the recommendations set out in this report.”

here is the report: ‘Response to the Report of the Commission on Pensions’ report