Fine Gael have said they will introduce a Transition Pension, as an opposition politician has said that the party are “on the ropes” on the issue of the rising pension age.
The Government plans to raise the retirement age to 67 next year, with the age expected to go up again to 68 in 2028.
The Taoiseach had said that the Government needed to increase the pension age along with life expectancy, however, the party has now backtracked somewhat.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has confirmed that Fine Gael’s proposed new Transition Pension will be introduced for those who retire at 66 and will be set at a rate equivalent to the Contributory State Pension.
“During the consultative phase for our current pensions reform – for a new total contributions model – the issue of those who retire at 66, yet have to wait until the official pension age to receive their state pension, arose on a number of occasions.
“Having worked on alternatives and having secured the agreement of party colleagues, we decided on a new transition payment to resolve this issue,” Minister Doherty said.
“I can confirm that this new transition pension will be paid at a rate equivalent to the Contributory State Pension. This change provides financial certainty to people retiring at 66,” she added.
Cork North Central and Solidarity TD Mick Barry has said that the Government are on the ropes, and has called for pressure to be applied to reverse the pension age to 65.
Deputy Barry said that people retiring at 65 faced a loss of €2,350 a year signing on for Jobseeker’s Allowance while waiting to reach the new pension age.
“The political establishment cannot be trusted on this issue. Fianna Fáil and the Greens signed up to pension age increases with the Troika, and Fine Gael and Labour implemented those increases,” Deputy Barry said.
“Under pressure on the doorsteps in an election campaign Fine Gael have now committed to this new ‘transition payment’ but more is needed and the pension age should just be reduced to 65 full stop,” he added.