Dáil Éireann - Volume 616 - 21 March, 2006
Written Answers. - Employment Support Services.
Mr. Connolly Mr. Connolly
453. Mr. Connolly asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the incentive he plans to put in place to encourage workers over 65 to remain in the workplace; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10321/06]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
 Mr. Brennan: An increase in workforce participation of older people is one of the more important means of ensuring the sustainability of pensions systems in the future and has been recognised as such internationally.
It is important that we encourage and facilitate people who would like to continue to work beyond normal retirement age. The Government is already committed to removing the retirement condition associated with the retirement pension so that people will not have to leave work before qualifying for a pension. In budget 2006, I announced the introduction of €100 weekly earnings disregard for recipients of non-contributory pensions which hopefully will encourage older people to work. The Pensions Board in its national pensions review has recommended allowing people to defer claiming the State contributory pension and in return to receive a higher pension when they decide to claim. I am examining how and at what stage it might be practical to introduce arrangements on these lines.
However, issues surrounding social welfare payments represent, in my view, only one aspect of the problem. As I indicated at the publication of the national pensions review, we require a change in attitudes in relation to longer working from both employers and employees themselves. Employers should, where appropriate, seek to retain older employees and create the conditions which will make longer working both attractive and feasible for older workers.
Dáil Éireann 616 Written Answers. Employment Support Services.