124. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Justice the status of the retirement age for a chief superintendent; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30167/21]


Deputy Heather Humphreys: Before I answer the Deputy's question, I thank Deputy Cathal Crowe for his kind comments. I know the rest of the Deputies will join me in congratulating the Minister, Deputy McEntee, on the birth of her lovely son, Michael Shane. We wish her well in her maternity leave.
I thank Deputy Conway-Walsh for raising this matter. As she will be aware, retirement of all members of An Garda Síochána, including those at the rank of chief superintendent, is governed by legislation that sets the mandatory maximum retirement age at 60. This reflects the operational nature of many of the roles in An Garda Síochána, including the requirement to work a variety of 24-hour rosters.
Members of An Garda Síochána may also opt to retire before reaching the age of 60. Those who joined prior to 1 April 2004 may retire on full pension at 50 years of age once they have served at least 30 years and those who joined on or after 1 April 2004 may retire on full pension at 55 years of age with 30 years’ service.
I can inform the Deputy that, in the context of the extension of retirement ages generally across the public sector, a review of the mandatory maximum retirement age is currently being carried out by my Department. As part of this review, an examination has been undertaken of compulsory retirement ages in a number of other national and regional police services. Consideration is also being given to the impact of such an increase of retirement age on career progression for other Garda members, including the importance of career succession, operational capacity and workforce planning within An Garda Síochána. Any changes to the maximum mandatory retirement age will need to be considered very carefully and will require amendments to both primary and secondary legislation. Detailed consultations will also be required with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, on the issue of retirement age across the public sector and the potential costs of any increase in the retirement age.
The Deputy may wish to further note that the Garda Síochána (Retirement) (No. 2) Regulations 1951, SI 335/1951, allow the Commissioner, with the consent of the Minister, to extend the age of retirement of a Garda member where this is in the interests of the efficiency of the Garda Síochána due to special qualifications or experience in policing possessed by that member.