Written answers

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Pension Provisions

10:00 pm

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 378: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to introduce phased retirement; his views on whether workers who are nearing the statutory retirement age who wish to continue in gainful employment should be allowed to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25237/07]

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 379: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if consideration will be given to workers over the age of 65 who wish to continue in gainful employment making PRSI contributions beyond the pension age in order to gain eligibility for an old age contributory pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25238/07]

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

I propose to take Questions Nos. 378 and 379 together.

It important that those who wish to continue in employment after normal retirement age should, as far as is possible, be facilitated and supported. Longer working can play an important role in ensuring that our pensions system is sustainable in the future and can be beneficial to the individual. The Green Paper on Pensions includes an examination of the issues surrounding retirement age and the barriers faced by older workers who wish to remain in employment.

In the context of the Green Paper on Pensions and the Agreed Programme for Government, I will be considering how to introduce flexibility into the social welfare pensions and social insurance systems to encourage and facilitate longer working. These include options such as allowing people to receive a higher rate of payment if they defer claiming pension and the question of making work after normal retirement age insurable for pension purposes. Changes to social welfare pensions represent only one aspect of the responses which will be needed in this area. Both employer and employee attitudes in relation to longer working will have to change in order for changes in the pensions area to impact. While neither employment not equality law impose a compulsory retirement age, employees may decide on a retirement age for particular employments. In future, at the workplace level, employers must seek to retain older employees and create the working conditions which will make longer working both attractive and feasible for older workers if change is to be achieved.

As already indicated, these issues are discussed in the Green Paper on Pensions. However, any legislative changes required to allow employees choices in relation to the age at which they retire, are matters for my colleague the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Comments

No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.