Rebecca Black and Cate McCurry, PA
There is no appetite to increase the pension age beyond 66 years, the Taoiseach has said.
A tiered pensions system is set come into effect in January 2024 under which people will be able to draw down their state pension at any point between 66 and 70.
People will receive a higher weekly pension payment for each additional year they work.
Keeping the pension age at 66 will result in pay-related social insurance (PRSI) increases, with a 10-year plan to be announced next year.
The Pensions Commission had proposed increasing the state pension age by three months every year from 2028, and then to 68 by 2039.
Sinn Féin has claimed the Government wants to push the pension age to 70.
Micheál Martin said that with people living longer action had to be taken, but there is “no appetite to go beyond 66”, adding: “I think that’s fair.”
“The fundamental decision of the Government – despite others deliberately trying to misinform and mislead – the decision of the Government is that people will be able to draw down their full pension at 66,” he said.
“We are saying over the next number of years, as per the commission’s report, and indeed the Commission on Taxation, there will have to be some increases in PRSI to meet that, for all workers, young and old.
“We’ve got to ensure there is sustainability in pensions into the future, that’s for everybody, that we have a sustainability around pensions, and I think that’s desirable.
“Society is evolving and society is living longer at all levels, we have to deal with that.
“There will also be implications for health services as we live longer.
“The world is changing, and we have to meet that change. There’s also other methods of retaining support in workers as well in terms of tax reduction.”