Public servants can work until 70 amid spiralling pensions

Teachers, university lecturers, and other key public servants will be asked to work until they are 70 in a bid to cut back on spiralling pension costs and to shore up staff gaps in vital frontline services.

Public servants can work until 70 amid spiralling pensions

Teachers, university lecturers, and other key public servants will be asked to work until they are 70 in a bid to cut back on spiralling pension costs and to shore up staff gaps in vital frontline services.

Cabinet signed off on the move at its weekly meeting yesterday after the plan was put forward by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Under existing rules, public servants must retire when they turn 65, unless they work in certain sectors such as the gardaí and Defence Forces.

The situation has resulted in a spike in pension payments and a risk of staff shortages for some sectors, with schools, colleges, and universities among those worst affected.

Under changes to the Public Service Superannuation (age of retirement) Bill, the vast majority of public servants will now be asked to work until they are 70, with the compulsory retirement age rising by five years.

Although anyone affected will still be able to retire early if they choose to do so, it is expected that the rule changes will result in a drastic reduction in pension costs and help increase staff levels in key areas across the country.

It is unclear if the move will be welcomed by teachers and university lecturer groups, with some members now likely to face working until they are 70.

The retirement age change was confirmed at a Cabinet meeting in which Mr Donohoe said the Finance Bill which brings the budget changes into effect will be published tomorrow.

Amid speculation that Fianna Fáil wants to amend the bill to include a further capital gains tax relief incentive for landlords, a Government spokesperson would not confirm the development last night.

Cabinet has also agreed that Peter Smyth’s review of the broadband controversy will see its terms of reference drawn up by the Departments of the Taoiseach and Communications.

Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting also signed off on:

- New rules allowing for the extradition of people from Australia to Ireland for “revenue offences”;

- Transport Minister Shane Ross’s confirmation that 6,000 electric cars are now being used in Ireland — the target for 2020 had been 230,000;

- Traveller history lessons in the school curriculum;

- Plans to provide presidential distinguished service awards for the Irish abroad to 10 people next month.

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