Planned increases in the State pension age will cost workers at least €26,000, plus benefits like free travel and the fuel allowance, according to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
Speaking at the federation’s biennial conference last week, ICTU’s social policy officer Laura Bambrick said workers would forego €13,000 in pensions, plus secondary benefits, for each year the Government increases the pension age.
"If they have a dependant spouse it will cost them an additional €11,500 and €1,700 for each child. This is the biggest ever cut to the social safety net for working people," she said.
In a report published ahead of the conference, ICTU called for the upcoming hikes to be reversed, saying Government plans to increase the pension age were “going too far, too fast.” It criticised the policy for forcing those approaching retirement to continue working out of necessity, even if they weren’t fit to do so.
Under the current timeline, the retirement age in Ireland will increase to 68 in 2028, making it the highest pension age in the OECD. The pension age is set to go up to 67 in 2021, after rising from 65 to 66 in 2014.
The report states that less than half of all workers have a pension to supplement their State pension. Some 90% of public sector workers are covered, compared to just 35% of private sector workers.
The report also backed the Government’s proposed new auto-enrolment system, while calling for some changes to it.