Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 14 June, 2005

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

  444. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to allow persons to continue to work and pay PRSI pension contributions beyond pension age to gain eligibility for the old age contributory pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19482/05]

  Mr. Brennan:An increase in the workforce participation of older people is one of the more important measures identified at EU level as a means of ensuring the sustainability of pensions systems in the future. One of the main factors contributing to the projected problems for the pay as you go pensions system is a reduction in the available workforce in the years ahead. Accordingly, it is important to maximise the workforce participation of all sectors, including older people.

It is important that we encourage and facilitate people who would like to continue to work beyond normal retirement age. In this regard, the Pensions Board is reviewing our overall pensions strategy, including the measures we can put in place to encourage people to extend their work[1751] ing lives. My Department is also doing some work in this area in the context of a review of qualifying conditions for old age contributory and retirement pensions. I expect to receive the report of the Pensions Board later this year, at which stage I will review the position in conjunction with the work already undertaken in the Department in this area.