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Departmental Working Groups

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Departmental Working Groups

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Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton)

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Snippet Contents:

This interdepartmental Working and Retirement Group was initiated to consider cross departmental policy issues that may support longer working and thereby improve the sustainability and adequacy of pensions systems.
The sustainability of the pension system is a particular concern because of the demographic challenges Ireland faces, the associated increases in pension and other age related costs, and the deterioration in the public finances. The population share of those aged 65 and over is expected to more than double between now and 2051, from 11% to approximately 23% in 2050. In contrast, the working age to pensioner ratio is projected to decline gradually from 5.3 /1 to 2.1/1.
This has obvious and significant implications in relation to the future costs of State pension provision. The fundamental principle involved here is that people need to participate in the workforce for longer and they need to contribute more towards their pensions if they are to achieve the income they expect or would like to have in retirement.
The interdepartmental group, which was established in August 2012 is chaired by the Department of Social Protection, includes representatives from the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Pensions Board. Further engagement has also been undertaken with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children.
The group has met on four occasions which included a ‘Forum on Working and Retirement’ held in Croke Park on 12th Dec last. The purpose of this forum was to obtain views from representative bodies and stakeholders and identify the wide ranging issues linked to working and retirement prior to the development of any possible policy proposals. Attendees included employer and employee representative groups, older people’s representative groups, representatives from the pensions industry, academic commenters and representatives from the legal profession.
The agenda for the group’s meetings has included consideration of the broad range of issues impacting on the labour market participation of older workers; enterprise issues, employment and equality law issues; and proposals regarding deferral of the state pension and consideration of occupational pension issues.
It is expected that the Group will prepare preliminary proposals detailing measures which may encourage participation and retention in the labour market of older workers and present proposals to Government in the near future.