Employment News: Public Sector Workers Expected to Retire in Record Numbers

Record number of workers expected to retire to avoid pension cuts next year.

Record number of workers expected to retire to avoid pension cuts next year.

An estimated 9,000 Irish public sector workers are expected to decide to retire in the next few months as pension reforms in Ireland come into effect next year. As in the UK, the pension reforms in Ireland mean public sector workers retiring after they take effect will face having a smaller pension.

Retirement Increase Across All Areas

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, has set a November deadline for workers to apply for retirement under old public sector pension calculations. This deadline makes experts forecast that the number of retiring public sector workers across all areas will increase.

From February, the new reduced public sector pay levels agreed under the Croke Park Agreement will effect pension payments, leaving public sector workers with a smaller pension than those who retire under the current salary figures.

New Taxes

Currently, public sector workers are normally entitled to a pension that is worth 50 per cent of their final salary and an untaxed lump sum of 150 per cent of their salary. It is also expected the lump sum will start being taxed.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has said it expects a “significant amount” of additional retirements on top of the already expected 5,000 to 6,000. A reasonable expectation is that around 9,000 will retire.

Unions have warned of detrimental effects on education, policing and other government services due to the retirements. There have even been reports that it is a possibility some police stations could go unmanned if enough police retire to keep their pensions larger.

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