Fianna Fáil oppose raising pension age

Fianna Fáil oppose raising pension age
Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath TD said workers engaged in labour could not be expected to work until 70. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

FIANNA Fáil has said they will block any efforts to raise the state pension age to 70.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) suggested raising the pension age in order to sustain the cash-strapped state pension system.

The pension age is already set to rise to 67 in 2012 and to 68 in 2028.

Cork South Centreal TD Michael McGrath, the party’s spokesman on Finance said that the government had given him no indication that the pension age would be raised, but Fianna Fáil would fight it if it was proposed.

He said such a move would be "excessive" and "not realistic" for many workers. He said that people needed more than "cold economics" and that the government needs to address "blatant anomalies" in the existing pension age where some people are forced to retire at 65 but cannot claim a state pension until they are 66, meaning that many of them are relying on Jobseekers Allowance to provide for them in the meantime.

Solidarity TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry said that raising the pension age would was backwards and not everyone would be able to work until they were 70.

"For example, are workers who perform highly stressful duties expected to work to 70? Are workers who perform physical labour expected to work until they are 70?

"The trade union movement should contest this backward agenda and campaign vigorously for the pension age to be restored to 65," he said.

Labour TD for Cork East Seán Sherlock said that the solution to the "pension timebomb" is to make people pay into a pension at a much earlier age than they do now.

"I think the key to the pensions crisis is people paying into a pension contribution at a much younger age. I'm not convinced that you set a compulsary bar on people working to the age of 70. "I think the answer lies in giving people the choice to work for however long they want to work and getting people started on their pension contributions at a much younger age," he said.

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