Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

State Pensions

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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208. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the removal of the age of 67 years for receipt of payment from the Social Welfare and Pensions Act. [30652/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” sets out how the planned increase in the State pension age next year will be deferred and it will remain at 66 years pending the report of the Commission on Pensions. This will require amendment to primary legislation and the Government will bring the necessary legislation before the Oireachtas later this year.

As the Deputy is aware, the public policy and social issues in relation to funding a sustainable and adequate State pension system are complex. As a consequence, the Programme for Government commits to establishing a Commission on Pensions to examine a range of issues including sustainability, eligibility, contributions and calculation methods.

The Terms of Reference for the Commission on Pensions are currently being developed and options for its membership are being considered. Proposals will be brought to Government in that regard as soon as possible. Once it has concluded its deliberations, the Commission will report to Government by June of next year.

The 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. This Government is committed to ensuring that this remains the case.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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