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Pensions, pensions January 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Funny isn’t it how issues one might not expect to bubble up seem to get a renewed emphasis in elections. For that, amongst many other reasons, they’re a good exercise, not least for keeping politicians on tenterhooks. Anyhow, pension ages seem to have come back into focus. I’ve had numerous conversations this last year with people on or about 65 who have had to work the extra year or so. It’s an absurd situation.

The rush to offer some sort of bridging or provisional payment makes sense. Though Sinn Féin’s “pledge to keep the State pension age at 65” may resonate more strongly. And Labour interestingly, despite signing off on the change in government has rowed back considerably from that point. Brendan Howlin has said:

“The increase to 67 has not happened yet, and can be stopped now as the country is in a different place with more people at work and the Social Insurance Fund is in substantial surplus.”
He said the economy and demographic situation were in much better condition now than had been projected back in 2011.
“It is simply unacceptable that people would be expected to sign for unemployment when they should be retired and Labour is committed to stop that happening,” Mr Howlin said.

Well yes. I suppose better late than never.

Then again this might cause some problems too:

A pensions consultant has highlighted the inequity in the pensions system which sees public sector workers who retire before the State pension age paid a supplementary government pension while private sector employees are not.

And who decided to go down a route that was inequitable to the many many workers in the private sector (as well as giving some ammunition to the anti-public sector usual suspects?).

Why none other than:

The protection for public sector workers is provided for a statutory instrument signed by then minister for public expenditure and reform Brendan Howlin in 2014 when the new, higher State pension age was first introduced.

I’ve never liked the measure – sure, I’m all for some flexibility and if people want to work longer provision should be made for that. But for many the last thing they want to do is to work past 65 and this absurd limbo that appears to have opened up is no progress at all.

But again, I’ll bet this wasn’t on the list of rakes in the grass when the election was called.


1. alanmyler - January 22, 2020

Credit to SIPTU for pushing this issue and putting politicians under pressure during the election campaign:


Liked by 2 people

Alibaba - January 22, 2020

So pensions are back on the agenda again, but they’ve long since been a problem since changes were brought in by Fine Gael and Labour with barely a bleat of opposition from the trade union movement beyond the expression of “concern” and a timid request for “reform”. I do welcome SIPTU debunking ‘The Myth of the Demographic Time-Bomb’ as I must confess to being ignorant about that.

Many people are unaware of changes that will have a huge impact on their wellbeing in retirement. This applies to young ones especially as they tend to ignore pensions, though some middle-aged people are troubled by the knowledge of what may happen to them. Think about the government’s decision to move the pensionable age to 68 by 2028. This decision meant that someone retiring after this will effectively lose three years worth of pension entitlements. This wipe-out of €36,000 went unchallenged.

And entitlement to full benefit has been chopped away for absences from employment, say over ill-health, childcare, elderly care, career breaks and so on. Here’s an article from 2014 that hasn’t dated too badly and puts us in the picture of how to avoid some pitfalls:


Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2020

There’s worse too, I’ll have a post on that tomorrow.


2. EWI - January 23, 2020

Between their meltdown (still ongoing) over the RIC controversy, and their same to the reinstatement of the full old-age pension, the sociopathic commentators in the Irish Times really do seem to need to take a chill pill.


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