Workers are to be given the option to work beyond retirement age as the Government implements new recommendations from an inter-departmental group.
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed the Government’s report on longer working lives, but warned that the retirement age issue cannot be considered in isolation from the serious problem of inadequate pension provision. The group also said that setting a contractual retirement date must ultimately remain a matter between employers and employees.
Head of Social Policy with Ibec, Tony Donohoe said “With the number of 65 year-olds set to increase by over 50% by 2026, the report paints a stark picture of the budgetary pressures that accompany an ageing population. If this issue remains unresolved we risk leaving a generation with substandard pensions coverage and an unsustainable bill for the state.
He added “Employers share the objective of facilitating longer working lives. However, this needs to be balanced with the needs of companies to have certainty and flexibility over workforce planning and the viability of their business. At a time when youth unemployment is still above 18%, the considerations of longer working also need to be balanced with the need to ensure adequate employment opportunities for young people and the need to provide career progression pathways”.
Age Action Ireland has described the report as a missed opportunity, saying there are no proposals to address the gap over when retirees can collect the State pension, forcing them onto Jobseeker’s Benefit.