Government look to change age of retirement

Workers will be incentivised to remain in their jobs for longer through the promise of a larger state pension

The government will start 2017 by discussing possible changes to employment law - including a revision to the retirement age.

The Sunday Independent reports that the government is considering allowing public and private workers continuing beyond the age of 65, if they choose to. Currently only private sector staff are able to work beyond 65.

Proposals could also see employees given the option of taking early retirement on a reduced pension.

The measures are aimed at reducing age discrimination in the workforce and tackling the growing cost of State pensions.

Similar laws were introduced in the UK five years ago, and sparked a widespread debate over the rights of workers and employers. UK employers can only force workers into retirement if they cna provide a "public interest" reason for making them leave their jobs. 

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar told the Sunday Independent that he wanted to introduce reforms which would result in "greater flexibilty around retirement".

"We are also examining a change in the law that would put the onus on employers who want someone to retire before the State pension age, so that the employer would have to prove that this is necessary for some objective reason," he added.

The employment reforms would also aim to bridge the gap between retirement of age 65 in most professions and receipt of the State pension at 66.

Head of the Communications Clinic Terry Prone said on Newstalk: "What you have is some outrageous injustices, such as the fact that gardaí have to retire at 60, never mind that they are experienced, fit and able for the job and, as most of them do, want to continue the job."