SIPTU has stated that a Government proposal to allow public sector workers to volunteer to continue in their jobs until 70 years of age only deals with one aspect of the problems associated with the increase in the statutory retirement age. SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Sector, John King, said: “We are yet to see the detail of the proposed legislation which the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, has announced that it is the Government’s intention to bring forward. “However, that the proposal is for a voluntary scheme which will allow those public sector workers who wish to, to apply to work on beyond 65 years of age will be welcomed by many particularly those on low or modest pensions. They are faced with either being forced on to jobseekers allowance or into financial hardship if they retired at 65 before they are entitled to the state pension.” He added: “There is another issue for the public sector which results from the raising of the age when workers are entitled to the state pension, which the Government has yet to deal with. That is in relation to public sector workers in physically demanding jobs. Many of these workers, such as local authority outdoor operatives, have worked for several decades and at 65 years of age no longer feel physically up to continuing their work. “SIPTU has consistently called for action from the Government to assist workers in this position. These workers should be able to access the state pension payments rather than be forced onto jobseekers allowance or into financial hardship, which is currently the case.”