Limerick TD Willie O’Dea calls for halt on raising age for pension entitlements

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Pensions’ time bomb: O’Dea concerned about new 40-year baseline

Pensions’ time bomb: O’Dea concerned about new 40-year baseline

LIMERICK City TD Willie O’Dea has urged the Government to hold off from raising the pension age to 68 until it has sorted out its calculation for pension entitlements.

The Fianna Fail deputy said that there is an unease felt among those who may have to opt for the 40-year baseline, instead of a proposed 30-year baseline which has been proposed.

He stated last week that if this is to be implemented, people who started working 1988 will have to continue employment for 10 more years.

“I am concerned that this will disproportionately affect self-employed persons due to retire soon. Self-employed workers have only been able to contribute towards their pension since 1988.

“It needs to be remembered that many in self-employment are working in physically demanding roles and forcing them to continue to working for a further 10 years would be very difficult.

“Additionally, there are many returned emigrants who spent time abroad, outside of the EU, working now in this State who will not be able to meet this 40 year requirement. It’s unfair on them to say the least,” Deputy O’Dea said in a statement. 

He described the situation as a “pensions’ time bomb” and that it is a challenge facing Ireland.

“Fianna Fáil believes that action must be taken now to address it. One such way would be for the Government to ban employment contracts that stipulate retirement ages. 

“If someone is willing to continue working past the antiquated 65 year threshold, they should be allowed to. Two things will happen: there will be additional contributions paid to the Social Security Fund and there will be reduced pension payments as the number in receipt of a State Pension will drop.”

Deputy O’Dea, who has been selected to run in the general election for Fianna Fail, said he is calling on Minister Regina O’Doherty to “take a step back and think before she makes fundamental changes of this nature”.