National Pensions Framework

March 3, 2010

National Pensions Framework Announced!

Following the launch of the long awaited National Pensions Framework, by Minister Hanafin today at Government Buildings, Máiréad Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (ISCP) welcomed the Framework but expressed her concern over the increase in the minimum age for the non-contributory State pension.

“The Parliament has always been of the view that any increase in the age of retirement should be voluntary with choices available to the person based on what is best for them.”  While we support the option to allow people to continue working longer, the mandatory age increase may not fully take the individual health and well-being of Older People into consideration.

Anna O’Farrell, Chairperson of the ISCP’s Pensions Committee, said that what was really needed was a sustainable contributory pension scheme with state guarantees to provide a pension of 50% of gross average industrial earnings on retirement rather than the 35% recommended in the Framework. “If the state can guarantee the banks, why can they not guarantee pensions?” asked Ms O’Farrell.

Ms. Hayes pointed out that there is a cumulative impact from a number of recent government decisions which together are increasing the risk of poverty amongst Older People in Ireland.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament recommended in their submission to the Green Paper on Pensions that “mandatory occupational pensions should be offered to all staff and staff should not be able to opt out.”

“We invite public participation in this debate – come to www.seniors.ie and let us know what you think”, concluded Ms Hayes.

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