SIPTU has expressed support for the Government decision to extend by one year the period within which public servants can retire under the terms which they held prior to pay reductions implemented under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act 2013. SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Louise O’Reilly, said: “The announcement by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, to extend until June 2016 the grace period within which public servants can retire, under the terms and conditions which they held to prior the introduction of FEMPI related pay reductions, will be widely welcomed by our members.“It will result in experienced public servants feeling less pressured into retirement due to the threat of loss of pension income if they remained at work.  SIPTU members had expressed concern that without this extension the public service would suffer a ‘brain drain’.”She added: “We are calling on the Government to now re-focus their efforts on bringing in new staff to ensure continuity within the public sector.  It is imperative that new staff be recruited in all grades across the public service so that the knowledge and experience of older members can be passed on.