‘Restore the Right to Retire at 65’ – Waterford Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called for the right to retire at 65 to be restored by Government. He made the call as the Sinn Féin Council group submitted a motion to Waterford City and County Council that supports the campaign to overturn the Government’s unfair policies on retirement and pensions. 

McGuinness said:

“At last year’s election, voters sent a message loud and clear that they want to restore the right to retire at 65 on the full pension rate. Next week this government will have been in power for a full year, yet they have failed to act and simply stalled on this issue. 

“People want to see real change and they want to see urgent reform to the pension age. Delays aren’t good enough.

“Sinn Féin are bringing this motion to Waterford Council to stand up for workers and show the government that a year of dithering and delay isn’t acceptable and cannot continue. They must commit now to restoring the right to retire at 65.

“People who worked hard all their lives deserve the right to their full pension at 65. It’s time to restore the right to the full rate.

“This is a fundamental issue of dignity for workers. When they reach 65, after a lifetime of work, workers deserve the choice to retire on the full pension rate or to work on in their job. 

“The government thinks that if they ignore this issue for long enough it will go away, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This situation is unjust and Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for workers to ensure they get fair pension rights.”

“We must restore the right to retire at 65. These workers have worked hard all their lives, paid their taxes, paid into the system and who deserve their pension at the full rate.

“This is about choice – workers who wish to work beyond the age of 65 must be allowed to do so. Sinn Féin’s motion gives workers the choice at 65 to continue to work or to retire on the full pension rate, so that workers can decide. To force workers to retire at 65 is unjust.

“I am calling on all councillors to stand up for workers and back our motion. The appetite for change that we saw last year hasn’t gone away. Workers want to see a fair and just pension system which treats workers with dignity and gives them the choice.

“Next week marks a year of this government being in power- a year of inaction and failure to bring about the change that people want.

“Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that this change is delivered and will continue to hold the government to account on their responsibility to listen to workers and treat them fairly.”

Text of the Motion

That Waterford City and County Council:

  • acknowledges that every worker in the State makes a considerable tax contribution throughout their working life and should have the right to access the full pension rate of pay when they retire at 65;
  • recognises that some workers want to retire at 65, while others want to remain at work, where they are able and willing to do so;
  • notes the difference of €45.30 between the Jobseeker payments and the State Pension leading to an annual loss of €2,355.60;
  • and calls on the Government
  • to restore the State Pension Transition payment for those retiring at 65 years of age;
  • to abolish mandatory retirement (with exceptions for security-related employment) to give workers the choice to work or retire so long as they are fit to do so;
  • to ensure that workers who choose to work on, do so on their own terms and conditions of employment and are not compelled to sign fixed term or short term contracts of employment;
  • to make provision for those who remain at work beyond 65 to have their Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions counted towards their State Pension; and 
  • to commit not to further increase the State Pension age.