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Munster airs opposition to imminent pension age increase, urges bill support

Deputy Imelda Munster
Imelda Munster TD speaks to an assembled crowd at an event.

Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has urged all parties to support her parties bill to stop planned pension age increases, which will be debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks.

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 states that next year the age requirement to receive the state pension will increase by a year – from 66 to 67 and it will increase by another in 2028, to 67.

That means if you were born on or after 1 January 1955 the minimum qualifying state pension age will be 67, while if you were born on or after 1 January 1961 the minimum qualifying state pension age will be 68.

Munster has hit out at the planned changes that would, citing the “injustice” to workers who have paid contributions and taxes for much of their lives.

“Fine Gael plan to increase the pension age to 67 years in January 2021, with a further increase to 68 years planned for 2028. This would mean that today’s workers, particularly those approaching retirement, may not access their State Pension at 66 years, as is their
current entitlement,” she said.

“These increases will see Ireland have one of the highest pension ages in the world – well above the majority of our EU counterparts. At the moment, people who have worked hard all their lives who are obliged by contract to retire at 65 years are forced on to a jobseekers payment for one year before they can receive their State Pension at 66 years. From next year, retirees will be forced on to a jobseekers payment for two years.

“This is an injustice to workers who have worked hard and paid their taxes, in some cases for a lifetime.”

The Drogheda-based TD hopes the Sinn Féin bill receives cross-party support when it is debated in the Dáil. “They (these changes) were agreed behind closed doors without any debate or vote and therefore, they should not go ahead.

“Our bill calling on the Government to establish a Pension Age Task Force will look at pension age and make recommendations based on evidence rather than cost cutting. This Bill will be debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks.”

“Nobody due to retire should be forced on to a jobseekers payment.”

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