Irish workers may have to wait longer for their pensions

A new report says the retirement age should be raised

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Picture by: John Stillwell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new economic report suggests workers should be forced to wait an extra five years for their pension.

The ESRI think-tank says 70 should be the new age for statutory retirement.

The theory is that people are living longer, so the Government needs to change its State budgets.

The retirement age in the public sector for people who joined it before April 2004 is 65.

While some occupations - for example, the gardaí, firefighters and the Defence Forces - have provisions for earlier retirement.

The Irish Independent says increasing the statutory retirement age by five years would roughly correspond to a projected increase in life expectancy.

The ESRI study found that countries across Europe are struggling with the cost of ageing populations.

It comes after the Citizens' Assembly backed a plan to scrap the mandatory pension age.

The group heard from the Pensions Authority of Ireland, ESRI, Age Action Ireland, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and Age and Opportunity.

Charlie Weston is personal finance editor with the Irish Independent.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: "They're arguing work till you drop, I suppose is what they're saying"

"What the ESRI are saying is we have a surge in older people and that's the same in Ireland as in across Europe.

"They're saying we'll have fewer workers, we're going to end up with more older people - I mean several figures will tell you we'll have about one million over 65's in the next 15 years."