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Change in retirement age for gardaí, Defence Forces

The Government is to change the mandatory retirement ages for members of An Garda Síochána, Defence Forces and the Prison Service in order to boost retention.

The mandatory retirement age for gardaí has been increased from 60 to 62, with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee saying it would help retain the knowledge and expertise of experienced people.

The General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Antoinette Cunningham, welcomed the move.

She told RTÉ News it was a “welcome development for many members… who will be seeking to work beyond the current mandatory retirement age of 60”.

Ms Cunningham added it would “help… with current staffing challenges also”.

Regarding the Defence Forces, the mandatory retirement ages for all officers and enlisted personnel will be increased to 60 years of age, with the maximum age of recruitment increasing to 39 years of age.

Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin said the move was a “further step” in addressing “recruitment and retention challenges”.

He added: “It is essential that the Defence Forces retain, and develop for the future, skilled personnel and key specialists.”

Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt Gen Seán Clancy, said he was delighted with the announcement, adding this had been “an absolute priority for me”.

He said: “This measure will allow experienced and skilled personnel to remain in their positions for longer, facilitating higher average career earnings and providing security of tenure for all members of Óglaigh na hÉireann.”

The announcement was made by Minister McEntee, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin following a Cabinet decision this morning.

Minister Donohoe said the increases to the mandatory retirement ages of uniformed public servants “will be facilitated under the Department’s fast accrual pension policy, which will provide the option to members to remain in service if they choose to do so”.

He said: “Fast accruals will be facilitated until age 60; if an individual remains in employment beyond age 60, their pension accrual reverts from a fast accrual to a standard accrual basis.”

Minister Donohoe added: “People are living longer, healthier lives and providing additional certainty in terms of retirement ages in the uniformed services is timely and appropriate.

“I fully support increases to the retirement ages in the uniformed services and the Department’s fast accrual policy will enable this.”

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