Trade unions representing Prison Officers, Fire Fighters and the Defence Forces have expressed extreme concern with proposed pension changes which will come before the Dáil. 

SIPTU Organiser, Geoff McEvoy, said: “The Bill, in its current form, creates a real uncertainty and fear that the retirement age will be further increased for new entrants, effectively ending fast accrual for them. This will worsen the retention and recruitment crisis in these essential frontline services, likely weakening them beyond repair.” 

He added: “We urge the government to reconsider this Bill and engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders to develop a solution that is fair and sustainable.”

​Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO) Deputy Secretary General, Derek Priestley said: ‘The Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024 will come before the Dáil, for its second reading, without any consultation with the workers affected.

As it stands the Bill will only further deteriorate terms and conditions for members and further negatively impact on recruitment and retention in the defence, prison, policing and fire services.”

He added: “It does nothing to solve the problem for workers who joined these services after 2013 facing serious financial hardship in the first years of their retirement. This is due to their fast accrual pension schemes making insufficient allowance for their contractual earlier retirement ages.”

Prison Officers’ Association General Secretary, Karl Dalton, said: “The proposed legislation would allow a Minister for Justice to increase the pension age of prison officers from 60 to 66 without any consultation with those impacted. Like our colleagues throughout the uniformed services, the traumatic events prison officers have to deal with during their career and the impact this has on their health is the reason for the current retirement age of 60.” 

​He added: “We have sought to meet the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to no avail. This proposed change without prior consultation with the representative bodies is unacceptable.”