Monthly Archives: March 2012

PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS (SINGLE SCHEME) AND REMUNERATION BILL 2011

ARCO continues in its efforts to have changes made to the proposed Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme) and Remuneration Bill 2011 so as to ensure that the pensions of its members who have taken up public service employment are not abated.  ARCO also opposes the proposal to link pension increases to the Consumer Price Index which could allow a minister the absolute discretion of delaying or indefinitely postponing any increases, thus effectively reducing the real value of pension entitlements and eventually changing their structure.

The vast majority of officers must retire from the Defence Forces on age grounds by their mid-fifties.  The nature of service in the armed forces requires its members to retire early from it so as to ensure the organisation can fulfil its demanding tasks.  The pension system and the early military retirement age have been put in place to cater for this.  Most officers will still have dependent children along with other financial commitments to meet at this stage of their lives.  Fully retiring is therefore not an option for them. 

The majority of public servants can work to age sixty-five and in some cases much later. For officers however early retirement is compulsory and if they are to continue to provide for their families they must seek out a second career and must do so while they are still considered employable.  The realities and difficulties in trying to find employment by someone in their mid-fifties means there is little point in waiting until then to change careers.  Most will have to enter the jobs market by their mid-forties at the latest if they are to hold out any prospect of doing so.  The pension they have earned in the service of their country is a reasonable expectation they have when considering their decision to retire.

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