Written answers

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

State Pensions

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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569. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of her plans to establish a commission on pensions to examine sustainability and eligibility issues with State pensions and the social insurance fund; when he expects the commission to be formally established; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18720/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy is aware, the public policy and social issues in relation to funding a sustainable and adequate State pension system are complex.  Therefore, the new Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” commits to establishing a Commission on Pensions to examine a range of issues including contributions, calculation methods, sustainability, eligibility and intergenerational fairness. 

The Terms of Reference for this Commission on Pensions are currently being developed and its membership is also being considered.  I will bring proposals to Government in that regard 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 Government by June of next year. 

In the meantime, pending its 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 will require amendment to primary legislation and the Government will bring the necessary legislation before the Oireachtas later this year.

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.

I hope this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

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