Unlike here, in the U.K changes have been made in the past five years to the retirement rules that prevent firms from retiring employees when they reach a certain age with only some exceptions. Currently, Ireland do not have a single retirement age, it’s mostly outlined in each individual’s employment contract; should this be removed in the Republic of Ireland? What affect could it have on your business?
Do you know what could happen if you don’t have it included in your employment contracts?
As per the Equality (miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 which came into effect 1st January 2015 employers can set a mandatory retirement age where it is objectively and reasonably justified. This is not as simple as it might appear! The presumption that you can pluck a number from the sky and set it as the retirement age is a potential minefield for employers. There may be implications too in areas such as business insurance, health & safety to retain over 65’s.
People are questioning why firms are able to retire workers for no other reason than their age; some are even saying this constitutes age discrimination!
A retiree at 65 could face severe financial difficulty with the qualifying age for state old age pension now set the qualifying age will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028. So:
• If you were born on or after 1 January 1955 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 67.
• If you were born on or after 1 January 1961 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 68.
The current system leaves the ‘65s and over’ talent pool untapped. Their skills and experience could be vital to SMEs, their presence is overwhelmingly welcomed by fellow workers and customers alike. This theme has been touched on by Hollywood with the 2015 film ‘The Intern’ starring the great Robert De Niro, a film that seeks to change attitudes about older workers.
Even McDonalds saw a real boost in staff happiness in their restaurants when employing a multi-generational workforce, and found that customers liked to see a good mix too.
The number of people aged 65 and over in Ireland is thought to treble over the next 30 years, and with an ageing population like ours in the future employees could be allowed to continue working, and employers will be on the ones granting them with job security should they wish to stay in work. Already the private sector is being encouraged to allow workers to stay beyond the age of 65 by the Minister for Public Expenditure.