Ferris brings in Bill to end compulsory retirement ages

State requirement for 65-year-olds to sign on for jobseeker’s allowance ‘unacceptable’

Anne Ferris TD:  Bill aims to change the situation in workplaces  “particularly in State roles, where people attaining a certain fixed age, be it 60 or 65, are compelled to retire, often against their will”.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Anne Ferris TD: Bill aims to change the situation in workplaces “particularly in State roles, where people attaining a certain fixed age, be it 60 or 65, are compelled to retire, often against their will”. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

It is unacceptable for the State to ask people retiring at 65 to sign on for jobseeker’s allowance, a Government TD has told the Dáil, as she called for the abolition of mandatory retirement ages.

Labour TD Anne Ferris introduced her Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill to end compulsory retirement ages “for people who are able and willing to continue in the role for which they were employed”. The Wicklow TD included exceptions for security-related areas such as An Garda Síochána and the emergency services.

The Bill aims to change the situation in workplaces across the country and “particularly in State roles, where people attaining a certain fixed age, be it 60 or 65, are compelled to retire, often against their will”.

Ms Ferris said the provisions also addressed a growing anomaly where people retiring at 65 may have to wait a year or longer to access State pensions. “The idea of signing on for the jobseeker’s allowance after working for nearly half a century is abhorrent to many employees and is, frankly, an unacceptable request by the State.”

Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin confirmed the Government would not oppose the Bill but described it as a “radical step”. He said it seemed an employee had the choice to retire at the contractual date, “whereas the employer would not have a choice”.