The Commissioner, Eddie Lynch, has reacted to a think tank's proposals to raise the state pension age to 75. The proposal, which was put forward by the Centre for Social Justice, to raise the current pension age of 65 to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035, has been widely criticised.

The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch said:

“I’m appalled by the Centre for Social Justice’s proposals to increase the state pension age to 75 and I strongly oppose these plans.

“If this did come into effect, thousands of older people in Northern Ireland would face the prospect of having to make a choice between living in poverty or, potentially, working themselves into ill health before they would ever see their pension.

“Whilst I believe older people should be encouraged to work for as long as they wish, the crucial point here is that it should be a choice – not a choice between working or living in poverty.

“We are an ageing population, it’s well documented that we are living longer, but to increase the pension age so drastically doesn’t adequately address how to cope with the wider impact of this. This requires much wider discussion and debate.”