Pensions and pensioners

 

Sir, – The pension age in Ireland has become a hot topic in this election campaign. People in Ireland have very short memories. The rise in the pension age was agreed by the Fianna Fáil-Green government as part of the bailout deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – the three agencies known as the troika. This was only one strand of the consequences of mismanaging the economy and the austerity that followed. Lives have been ruined.

The Fine Gael-Labour government then legislated for the increased age at which you can start to receive a State pension from 65 to 66 in 2014.

By the time I reach retirement age, I will have to leave my job and wait three years until I can draw down my State pension at 68.

I will be faced with the prospect as some people are now of having to present at the so-called Department of Social Protection and apply for jobseeker’s allowance and engage in a big pretence to apply for work. Utter futility. Utter waste. Utterly unjust.

A just transition to retirement is not on offer from the Government parties, the spent Labour Party or the one-trick pony that is the Green Party, so to remedy this issue people will have to look elsewhere. – Is mise,

KILLIAN BRENNAN,

Dublin 17.

Sir, – Political parties could do a lot worse than carefully read and study the excellent letter from Helen Cahill in Wednesday’s Irish Times relating to pension age and age-related inclusion in society (January 22nd). Rarely have I read such a clear, informative and thought-out letter, offering real solutions as opposed to the knee-jerk and emotional response to the issue from some of our politicians. A pledge to reduce the pension age might garner a few votes but it will have no effect on the large number of people who have no intention of retiring at 65, if they can help it at all. – Yours, etc,

CATHERINE POWER,

The Grange,

Waterford.