Companies should no longer be allowed to force employees to retire, according to a committee of Irish politicians.
The Irish parliament’s Joint Committee on Social Protection last week published a report calling for a number of changes to the state pension and retirement policy.
Many private sector companies in Ireland have a mandatory retirement age, typically 65, despite the government moving to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2028.
John Curran, chair of the committee, said: “Committee members were united in the assertion that more work must be done to ensure a sustainable and fair state pension.
“The Joint Committee considers that mandatory retirement age should be abolished. No employee should be contractually obliged to retire based on age if they are willing and able to remain at work.”
The committee called for Regina Doherty, minister for employment and social protection, to review retirement age laws and also address gender inequality related to the state pension “as a matter of urgency”.
Changes made to Ireland’s state pension in 2012 included a doubling of the number of contributions required to qualify for the state pension, which the committee said had a disproportionately negative effect on women.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a 65-year-old Irish person had a life expectancy of 12.5 years in 1985. By 2014, this had risen to 18.4 years.
The committee’s recommendation followed research from The Citizens’ Assembly, a group representing the Irish public, which said 86% of its members supported scrapping mandatory retirement.
The Citizens’ Assembly also called for the government to address an anomaly brought about by the divergence of mandatory retirement ages and the state pension age. This had resulted in some people being forced to retire from their workplace at age 65, but not be eligible to claim the state pension until age 66.