Written answers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Pension Provisions

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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46. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the reintroduction of the transitionary pension from 65 to 66 years of age as outlined in the Programme for Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18471/20]

Alan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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60. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the steps she will take to ensure that persons that are required to retire at 65 years of age do not have to sign on; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18807/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 46 and 60 together.

The new Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” proposes an “Early Retirement Allowance or Pension” for 65 year olds paid at the same rate as Jobseeker's Benefit without a requirement to sign on, partake in any activation measures or be available for and genuinely seeking work.  

The new payment will be introduced as early as possible for those who are retired from employment.  Officials in my Department are currently considering the design of the scheme and assessing the necessary legislation, ICT system requirements and administrative processes required to support the introduction of this payment.    

More widely, a Commission on Pensions will be established to examine sustainability and eligibility issues in relation to State pensions and the Social Insurance Fund.  The Commission is to report to Government by June 2021 on options including the qualifying age, contribution rates, total contributions and eligibility requirements.  The Government will take action, having regard to the recommendations of the Commission, within six months.

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