Minister Donohoe’s fast accruals pension policy to facilitate increased retirement ages for uniformed public servants

5th March, 2024

The Minister for Public Expenditure, NPD Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe has today (Tuesday) provided his support for retirement age increase measures, which will assist in recruiting and retaining valuable expertise in the uniformed services. 

Proposed increases to the mandatory retirement ages of uniformed public servants will be facilitated under the Department’s fast accrual pension policy, which will provide the option to members to remain in service if they choose to do so. 

The Department conducted a comprehensive analysis to examine the issue of mandatory retirement age increases and the fast accrual pension terms which apply to uniformed public servants. This work was assisted by the returns provided by the Departments of Defence, Justice and Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Officials in the Department analysed over 20,000 individual data records relating to this uniformed group to arrive at the adopted policy approach. 

Under the changes being made to the fast accrual policy framework, fast accruals will be facilitated until age 60; if an individual remains in employment beyond age 60, their pension accrual reverts from a fast accrual to a standard accrual basis. 

The policy will allow for increased mandatory retirement ages to be adopted in the uniformed services and aims to address operational need in an equitable and sustainable manner. 

The Minister will prepare legislation for inclusion into a suitable legislative vehicle to amend the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 and the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012  in order to facilitate an increase in the mandatory retirement age (MRA) in the uniformed services (An Garda Síochána, Prison Officers, Full-time firefighters, Defence Forces) within the context of the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform’s fast accrual pensions policy. 

Minister Donohoe said: “In recent years, there have been a number of requests to increase mandatory retirement ages for uniformed public servants. Changes in retirement ages are a matter for the line Minister. In the context of increases to mandatory retirement ages, it is my role as Minister for Public Expenditure, NPD Delivery and Reform to sanction the impact to pay and pensions.

“I fully support increases to the retirement ages in the uniformed services. The changes proposed by the respective Ministers, facilitated by my Department will enhance the options available to members of the uniformed services, and allow them to remain in service for longer if they choose to do so.

“People are living longer, healthier lives and providing additional certainty in terms of retirement ages in the uniformed services is timely and appropriate. I fully support increases to the retirement ages in the uniformed services and the Department’s fast accrual policy will enable this.”