Crowe says Bill abolishing mandatory retirement gives more choice to older citizens

Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed all party support for a Sinn Féin Bill that seeks to abolish mandatory retirement due to age.

The Sinn Féin TD said that the proposed legislation will give older workers a choice when it comes to their own retirement.

Speaking in the Dail during the debate Deputy Crowe said:

“I welcome the unanimous support of everyone in the Oireachtas to bring an end to what has been a long-standing practice of discrimination against older citizens, who in many cases are forced to retire against their will.

“This Sinn Féin Bill addresses a multitude of dilemmas facing older people including the fact that many are forced to retire at the age 65 and then forced onto a job-seekers payment for a year before they can receive their State Pension.

“This pathway to a pension can be degrading, and it is unnecessarily upsetting for many people who worked all their life and never claimed a welfare

“The legislation will also help to alleviate the unjust and disproportionate impact on senior citizens, particularly women, who may have taken time out of work to raise families or to care for a loved one and now find themselves in the vulnerable position where they cannot draw full pension entitlements.

“It is vitally important if we want to see an inclusive society that we treat all our citizens including all those who are in the senior citizen category equally.

While saying the Government accepted the Bill in principle last Thursday night, Minister of State for Justice David Stanton said there are still some issues that need looking at.

“This is notwithstanding that there are serious technical problems with the Bill as drafted and that there are serious policy and expenditure issues that need to be considered very carefully,” he said.

The Bill, known as the Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2016, will now go to a Dáil committee.