Funding state pensions must not become a burden for workers

A decent state pension is the least that a civilized society should offer to those who have worked hard and contributed to it all their lives.

Every spotlight on the problem of financial security leads time and again to the fact that Ireland has an increasing proportion of the elderly in the population.

For more than a decade Irish Independent Journalists warn of the “pension time bomb” threateningly ticking in the background.

It is widely accepted that the number of people the state’s working population must support will more than double over the next three decades.

Rent increases and the housing shortage make it all the more important to give serious thought to the care of young and old.

A balance must be struck where the young aren’t strained to the limit to bridge the gap.

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (Ifac) found itself in hot water a few years ago after it proposed that the age for entitlement to the State Contribution Pension could be raised to 69 in the next 15 years.

Yesterday Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys tried to clarify who gets what and when.

Their efforts drew a predictably mixed reaction. The statutory retirement age is to remain at 66, but people will be offered the option to work until 70 for higher pension payments.

What the government saw as a “substantial and significant” set of policies that represent a “clear path forward” has been described by Sinn Féin chairman Maria Lou as “almost a Trojan horse to raising the retirement age to, in fact, 70”. MC Donald.

The lack of details on financing was also criticized.

Ms Humphreys said funding would come from increases in PRSI payments but acknowledged that given the rate of inflation few could afford to absorb such increases in the near future.

Pressured by an Ifac report suggesting that someone earning €50,000 would have to pay an additional €1,200 to PRSI, she insisted any increases would be “modest” and gradual.

Given Ms Humphreys’ confidence in the unprecedented clarity of the chosen path, it was somewhat confusing to learn that another ‘road map’ for PRSI increases would have to be released next spring.

On the other hand, it is to be welcomed that those in need of care are finally receiving a pension.

Many will also be relieved that mandatory retirement has been abolished, allowing people to take advantage of more flexible arrangements.

Ms Humphreys said the “public has given its verdict” on her preference for setting the retirement age at 66.

However, it is certainly still unclear how exactly this can be delivered and paid for without unduly burdening the workforce.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/funding-state-pensions-must-not-become-onerous-burden-on-workers-42005218.html Funding state pensions must not become a burden for workers

Fry Electronics Team

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