Belfast Telegraph

Public pension age rise backed

Northern Ireland MLAs have rubber stamped a future increase in the public sector pension age.

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the state retirement age would go up to 68 some time in the mid-2030s.

The Public Service Pensions Bill, passed at Stormont tonight, aims to move public service pensions to a system based on average earnings with the pension age linked to state pension age.

SDLP assembly member Dominic Bradley voted against the change.

He said: "This is the most far reaching piece of legislation to pass through the Assembly for some time.

"Changes to pension ages will mean that when the provisions of this bill come into effect, public servants will be forced to work until they are 68.

"Teachers, nurses, doctors and local government workers - people who work in posts which are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding."

The Democratic Unionists' Paul Girvan said that if the assembly had not moved on public service pensions Northern Ireland would have to foot the bill.

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