Fórsa has called on the Government to protect the incomes of public servants who reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 before the end of last year, but then stayed in work on a 12-month temporary arrangement because the state pension age had been changed from 65 to 66.
New legislation that allows civil and public servants to choose to work until age 70 has resolved the problem for staff approaching retirement now. But many were caught out before this measure became law last December.
In a submission to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), the union argues that these workers should be given the option to extend their 12-month retention arrangement up until age 70, and get increments due to them during this period.
When the new law was passed at the end of 2018, finance minister Paschal Donohoe said he would issue a report on public servants who were forced to retire between 6th December 2017 and the commencement of the Act, along with “potential remedies to assist this cohort of worker.”
Fórsa national secretary Billy Hannigan said the union’s recommendation was a practical response to the legal position we are now in. “It may not be the most ideal solution, but it is the most practical having regard to the fact that pension schemes are based on statute and that pension abatement rules are also governed by legislation,” he said.
The new law, which the Government introduced in response to union pressure, was necessary because many civil and public servants depend on the state pension for a substantial part of their retirement income.
Meanwhile, DPER has published a guide to the new legislation and its implications for civil and public servants. You can read it here.