Employers' group IBEC today said workplaces are not prepared for changes to State pension age rules, which will see the State pension age increase from 65 to 66 in 2014.
The organisation said that the Government should take the opportunity now to address the practical implementation issues, in order to minimise the potential for difficulties arising for employers and workers.
"An increase in the average retirement age is unavoidable for a number of reasons, including to ensure that workers can expect an appropriate level of income in retirement and to contribute to the sustainability of pensions," IBEC Director Brendan McGinty told a pensions conference at Croke Park today.
"To simply abolish the State pension for 65 year olds from 2014 does not meet that objective and may have unintended consequences for up to 14,000 people who would be expected to retire.
"It also leaves employers open to potential litigation and industrial relations difficulties as well as having to deal with defined benefit pension schemes which are in deficit. "
IBEC has proposed a package of legislative reform which it says would give employers certainty that they can rely on contractual retirement ages, give workers the maximum opportunity to achieve an appropriate level of retirement income - including a lower state pension at 65 - and allow workers to receive a higher state pension where an employer is willing to accommodate later retirement by agreement.
The IBEC proposals would also allow workers who have insufficient contributions to receive full state benefits to make up those contributions by working later in life, the organisation said.