The SIPTU Carlow/Kilkenny District Council has called for an end to the inequity in state payments and other supports between workers forced to retire from their employment at 65 years of age and later retirees. SIPTU Carlow/Kilkenny District Council co-ordinator, Andrea Cleere, said: “At a virtual meeting of the District Council, concerns were raised regarding the extreme inequity that exists for workers who retire at age 65 compared to those who retire at 66 years or older. There was also a strong endorsement of the ongoing Stop67 campaign which seeks to ensure there is no further increase in the pension age. “The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has introduced a new intermediary benefit payment for those who retire at 65 years old which is paid at a rate which is €45 per week less than the state pension payment. This intermediary payment financially disadvantages those retiring at age 65 by €2,340 per annum. “Those retiring at 65 are further disadvantaged as the y are also excluded from other benefits linked to the receipt of the state pension such as medical cards, the household benefits package, fuel allowance and the free travel scheme.” She added: “At the meeting the members of the SIPTU Carlow/Kilkenny District Council passed a motion calling for those who retire at 65 to receive a payment equivalent to the state pension. People in retirement are entitled to a healthy and secure life. This should  include adequate provision for their housing, medical and welfare needs and a decent income.”