The Carlow / Kilkenny District Council has called on workers to vote for parties which have clearly stated their support for the ‘STOP67’ campaign.
The campaign aims to halt the increase in the state pension age to 67 from next year and to 68 in 2028.
SIPTU Carlow / Kilkenny District Council Co-Ordinator, Michael Browne, said: “STOP67 is the SIPTU campaign to stop the increase of the state pension age to 67 on 1st January, 2021.
“SIPTU representatives are not surprised this is a major general election issue. We have been hearing from our members since the abolition of the transitional pension scheme in 2014 about the difficulties that the retirement gap has been causing for workers. This includes the absolute indignity of people coming up to 65 years of age who are expecting to get their pension but are instead forced to sign on the dole.
“This campaign is not only about stopping the rise of the pension age to 67 but also the creation of a stakeholder forum which will consider issues such as finances, age discrimination and others that effect people in their retirement.
“This forum should also consider bringing the age of entitlement for the state pension back to 65 years of age.”
Michael Browne added: “Retirement is a great part of life, but it should, as far as possible be voluntary, flexible and appropriate.
“People should not be forced out of a job they love and are capable of performing or to stay in work past an age where it is appropriate.”
SIPTU Carlow / Kilkenny District Council Chairperson, Veronica Drea, said: “The District Council will lobby Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael candidates in their areas to make sure their parties declare a willingness to introduce legislation to stop the increase in the state pension age.
“If these parties continue to refuse to back the ‘STOP67’ campaign the SIPTU Carlow / Kilkenny District Council executive is calling on all union members in the county, and all other workers, not to vote for their election candidates.”
He added: “Most of the other political parties are supporting the ‘STOP67’ campaign. The big two parties must make their position clear.”