Dáil Éireann - Volume 576 - 10 December, 2003
Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
129. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance his plans to raise the retirement age in the public service; and if current arrangements for retirement ages generally are financially viable in view of long run demographic trends. [29986/03]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy):I refer the Deputy to my Budget Statement to the House on 3 December 2003 in which I announced the Government's decision to implement the bulk of the recommendations of the commission on public service pensions, including those affecting the retirement age of new entrants to the public service. The commission noted that because the overall demographic situation in Ireland is more favourable than other countries, this country would be in a better position than others to cope with the consequences of ageing for some time. Ireland currently has the lowest proportion of older people in the EU. It is expected that our proportion of older people will remain at much the same level for the immediate future but is projected to increase steeply by mid-century.
I have been very concerned to ensure that we use the opportunity we now have to do everything possible to prepare for the challenges ahead. The implementation of the recommendations of the pensions commission is the latest in a number of initiatives I have implemented in the pensions area. In this instance the reforms are aimed at securing the viability and stability of public service occupational pension schemes over the longer term. But, as the commission made clear, even with these measures, pensions are likely to represent an issue as we move into the century. In this context there is a continuing need for people to be responsible and to take account of the longer-term costs we are facing.
Dáil Éireann 576 Written Answers. Pension Provisions.