Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that he anticipates the Government will make a decision on the issue of the pension age by the end of March.
Because of the sensitivity of the issue, there was a process that had to be carried through when considering “this very important matter”, he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
The concern was that the cost of changing retirement age could arise sooner than anticipated.
“The only money the Government has, is the money that the Government collects from its citizens or borrows in their name in the future”, he cautioned about funding the State pension.
While it was a welcome change that people were living longer, at present there were 4.5 workers for every pensioner, by 2050 that would be two workers for every State pension holder, warned Mr Donohoe.
There could be consequences for allocating more money for pensions, that could mean “there will be things we will not be able to do.”
When asked about the recommendation by the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection that mandatory retirement be stopped, Mr Donohoe said that the suggestion had merit.
Some people enjoyed working longer and if they did so that would help State funding of other projects.
However, the Minister said that working beyond the age of 66 might not be possible for all workers, especially those who did manual labour.