Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has welcomed the commitment in the Programme for Government to maintain the state pension age at 66.

Deputy O’Dea said, “The Programme for Government gives an assurance that the State Pension will remain the bedrock of the pension system in Ireland and that the State Pension age will remain at 66, with the increase to 67 being deferred. In addition, those who are forced to retire at 65 will receive a pathway pension without having to sign on. A Pension Commission will be set up to review pension issues.

“This was a key priority for our Party during the negotiations and I am glad that we have been able to deliver on it.

“The Commission on Pensions as proposed in the Programme for Government will examine sustainability and eligibility issues with state pensions and the Social Insurance Fund. This Commission will help address issues including qualifying age and eligibility requirements and ensure that we have a sustainable, fair and equitable pension system into the future.

“I also welcome the fact that many of our proposals in relation to carers have been included in the Programme for Government. Carers do invaluable work and play a crucial role in our society and it is imperative that they are supported.

“If this Programme for Government is implemented, I believe it will have a positive and transformative impact on peoples’ lives”, concluded Deputy O’Dea.