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Latest press release from Social Democrat candidate Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Wednesday, January 29th 2020…
Social Democrats General Election Candidate for Wicklow, Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore says that people should have the option to retire at 65 with financial security something she says is not being proposed by Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.
Whitmore says, “there are over 18,000 people over the age of 65 in Co. Wicklow. These are people who should not be forced to retire, then forced to go on the dole after working all their adult lives after paying into a pension. Yet this is exactly what Fine Gael is asking them to do until they are 68. Fianna Fáil similarly only seek to freeze the rise at 67 but still leave out the 65-66 age cohort.
“One thing missing from commentary by the main political parties is the fact that increasing the pension age to 67 and subsequently to 68 would have a disproportionately negative impact on low-income pensioners who depend entirely on the state pension as their sole income. I have met many people in this situation or who are still paying off mortgages or helping out with their adult children who cannot afford a house on their own.
“People should feel protected and safeguarded at retirement instead of being made feel like they are forgotten and left behind. I, along with the Social Democrats have proposals on how to bring about certainty for people facing retirement. We want to do this sustainably, so the state pension is affordable and secure so people can depend on it.
“We want a system whereby individuals should be given the flexibility to receive the State Pension earlier or later than 65. The actual pension they receive would be reduced or increased on a cost neutral basis and the State Pension linked either to 35% of the average wage or we increase public service pensions in order to promote equality and solidarity.
“Retirement age should be aligned with the pension age and employment contracts adjusted accordingly. I want to see funding options considered for bringing the retirement age back to 65 which many people have said to me over the past number of weeks on the canvas trail.
“However, instead of concrete proposals coming from the main parties, we are seeing auction politics at its worst and no commitment overall on the future of our pension system.
“Instead of auction politics political parties should engage in an all-party agreement on the future of the Contributory State Pension, to once and for all create real certainty around pensions for people, like those I have been meeting on the doors across Wicklow,” concludes Whitmore.