Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has strongly criticised the Government after their announcement that workers who retire at the age of 65 will not now be forced to sign on and apply for Jobseekers, saying that this was nothing more than tinkering with the core issue pension age and not enough.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The announcement by the Government that people retiring at 65 will not have to go on Jobseekers is nothing more than a tinkering with the pension age issue and doesn’t go far enough

“The government have simply repackaged the dole process and tried to pass it off as a State Pension for over-65s.

“People retiring at the age of 65 will still be worse off financially, as they will receive the same rate as Jobseekers. This amounts to €203 per week, which is essentially a loss of €45 per week for the applicant.

“This amounts to over €2,000 per year being taken from the pensioners’ pockets. It is grossly unfair and frankly insulting when citizens have worked hard all their lives paying into a system where they expected to be able to retire at the age of 65

“It is appalling that the government is trying to hood wink the electorate and brand this as an improvement while they continue to fail those who want the option to retire or continue.

“Sinn Féin are very clear in calling for the State Pension Transition to be restored. Those retiring after a lifetime of work should be able to access a State Pension payment.

“We also need to look at giving people choices in retirement or staying on at work. People who wish to continue working should have the choice to do so. This repackaging of the dole does not address this core issue. Every worker should be free to choose whether to retire at 65 or keep working if they wish. This should not be forced on them.

“This Government also needs to get real about the financial reality facing many people who are coming up to retirement age but are unable to do so because of this Government’s failure to provide adequate supports.

“Unfortunately, this current Government is divorced from reality if it thinks that people will be convinced by this disingenuous branding exercise. They must try harder to bring about the real reform needed for people to work and retire with dignity.

“One year on from the 2020 general election, when the electorate demanded meaningful action in relation to the entitlement of a State pension, the government have delivered nothing substantial when it comes to retirement and the pension age issue.”