Dr. Laura Bambrick on Pensions

27 Jan 2020

Laura Bambrick Irish Times iv

Listen to Dr. Laura Bambrick Social Policy Officer ICTU in this interview, recorded by the Irish Times, on the pension age controversy.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/short-term-election-promises-on-pensions-will-not-solve-a-long-term-problem-1.4149140

Dr Bambrick said "Congress has long voiced our strong concerns for workers unfit or financially compelled to continue working beyond 65 years as a result of the abolished State Pension (transition) from 2014 and the planned increases to the State pension qualifying age to 67 years from next January and to 68 years in 2028”.

The two options the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have put forward for these workers are to claim Jobseeker’s Benefit, at €45 per week lower than the pension rate, or to look for alternative employment.

“This is the biggest ever cut to the social safety net for working people, which will push many into poverty in retirement,” said Congress Social Policy Officer, Dr Laura Bambrick.

“Claims that the age increase is being done, and cannot be undone, out of concern for the future sustainability of the State pension ring hollow considering that this Government failed to deliver on their promised review of PRSI contribution rates by the end of 2018. Their focus is wholly on what is coming out of the Social Insurance Fund while ignoring what is being put in and from whom” Dr Bambrick added.

“In our submission to DEASP consultation’s on reform of contributory state pension in May 2018, Congress called on Government to reverse its decision to implement increases to the pension age and commit to meaningful engagement with the trade union movement on steps to address the challenges of population ageing and the future financial sustainability of the pension system” Dr Bambrick added.

ICTU response to reform of the State pension here (see pages 10-12) https://www.ictu.ie/download/pdf/total_contributions_approach_submission_finaljune_2018.pdf