Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

State Pensions

11:00 am

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22, 26, 81 and 92 together.

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. The Government stated in the Programme for Government - Our Shared Future that the increase in the State pension age planned for next year will be deferred.  This will require the amendment of primary legislation. The Government will bring the necessary legislation before the Oireachtas later this year.

The public policy and social issues related to funding a sustainable and adequate State pension system are complex.  We are therefore establishing a commission on pensions to examine a range of issues including contributions, calculation methods, sustainability, eligibility and intergenerational fairness.  Intergenerational fairness concerns how the decisions we make will impact on the young people of today by the time they reach pensionable age.

The terms of reference for the commission on pensions are currently being developed and options for its membership are being considered.  I will bring proposals in that regard to the Government as soon as possible.  It is anticipated that the commission will be considering submissions from a wide range of stakeholders, including key NGOs in the area.

Once it has concluded its deliberations, the commission will report to the Government by June of next year.  In the meantime, pending this report and decisions taken on its recommendations, this Government has clearly stated that the State pension age will remain at 66 years and will not be increased to 67 in January 2021 as currently legislated for.

This Government is acutely conscious of the need to consider the sustainability of the State's finances.  However, this is not the only consideration when thinking of the State pension age.  The State pension is the bedrock of the pension system in Ireland.  It is extremely effective at ensuring that our pensioners do not experience poverty.  The Government is committed to ensuring that this remains the case.


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