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Proposals to raise the pension age to 68 are futile while most workers face mandatory retirement at 65

Published 09/09/2021


(09 September 2021) Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation on ageing and older people, says that the leaked proposal of the Pensions Commission to raise the pension age to 68 by 2039, and 67 by 2031, will not fix Ireland’s ailing retirement system.

In an initial response to the leaked proposal, Age Action’s policy specialist, Nat O’Connor, says ‘A large number of workers face mandatory retirement at the age of 65 due to clauses in their contracts. Such clauses are not permitted in other jurisdictions, such as the USA which largely outlawed them in 1986. At present, many people face a year on a low welfare income at age 65, waiting for their State Pension entitlement to kick in on their 66th birthday. This puts people under financial pressure and hardship just when they should be looking forward to retirement.’

‘What is needed is a fair and flexible retirement system that will address the large shortfall in public financing the future State Pension, and which will provide greater gender equality and security of income in older age. Those who wish to work beyond the State Pension age should be allowed to do so, on the same terms and conditions as they currently enjoy, not on precarious one-year contracts. There certainly is a need to look at how our society will afford a decent State Pension for all, but we have options to increase what are Europe’s lowest rates of social insurance to help close the gap’ Nat O’Connor said.

If this proposal is accepted by the Government, eligibility for the State Pension would rise to 66¼ in six years’ time, with a steady increase from then onwards. No information has been published about how much money would be saved by raising the retirement age, but research to date indicates that it will not come close to covering the full cost. A much wider public debate is needed once the full report of the Pension Commission is published.



Age Action Ireland to benefit from Gas Networks Ireland Survey

Gas Networks Ireland is raising money for Age Action. If you've recently called their contact centre or had work done by them, you might receive a text from Gas Networks asking for your feedback. For every response received, they'll donate €2 to Age Action. There is no obligation to participate.

How It Works - If you've had contact with Gas Networks Ireland service centre or had work carried out by them, you may receive a message from Marie Lyster, their Customer Experience Manager. This message is an invitation to share your feedback. 

By providing feedback – only if you choose to – you'll be supporting Age Action Ireland. For every piece of feedback received, Gas Networks Ireland will donate €2 to our organisation. This contribution can support our efforts to improve the lives of older people in Ireland.You won't be asked for any bank details or money. Gas Networks Ireland is handling all the donations.

If you would rather not get these texts, just let them know and you won’t be included.  If you are over 65yrs old, you can contact them directly on their Age-Friendly service.  See their contact details here.

For Corporate Clients- Please note that Gas Networks donate €50 for each qualitative interview their commercial customers take part in.

Details on Gas networks customer surveys is available here.

For more information about our work and other ways to get involved with Age Action, please click here.