The age of retirement in the public sector is being raised
The new mandatory retirement age in the public sector will be raised from 65 to 70, says the Minister for Finance
This change will primarily affect anyone who has joined the public service before 2004.
Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said that the change to the compulsory retirement age for those in the public sector will help create new roles and posts in the service. It will also help to retain a lot of those already working in public service.
Anybody working in front line services with a pension scheme that allows them to retire earlier will not be affected, such as Gardaí, Prison Officers or members of the Defence Forces, the Minister said.
"They will still have the ability to retire at the point that they currently do. In relation to, for example a consultant, that will be a matter for the HSE depending on the nature of the contract that they have."
"We are not making people work longer. We're extending the option to them depending on when they joined."
"We're not changing the minimum retirement age. We're saying when people get beyond that point, particularly for people who joined before 2004. They have the option to work longer."
When asked about any extensions, he said, "This has to be agreed between the employee and employer", stressing that "mutual consent" will be essential, but "in the vast majority of cases, it will be granted."
The Minister also said that the pension cannot be withdrawn until the employee retires.
When asked about the cost implications, he said "it will depend on the number of people who take it", but "we will be able to cover the costs of this overall."
Commenting on the events surrounding the Brexit Phase 1 talks and DUP leader Arlene Foster's demand that Northern Ireland will not accept "regulatory alignment" with the EU, Donohoe said it was very disappointing, but that the Irish Government is clear that the agreement reached on the border must be upheld.
Speaking about Apple's agreement to start moving €13 billion into an escrow account, the Minister could not provide a clear time-frame. Noting that the tendering processes for the account are moving forward, he said that this should be completed by the end of January. However, no exact date was given as to when the funds would be moved into the account.