Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Committee on Education and Social Protection: Select Sub-Committee on Social Protection
Business of Select Sub-Committee
Clerk to the Committee:
In the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the committee, the first task that falls to us is the election of a temporary Chairman. I understand the Chairman, Deputy Joanna Tuffy, will join us later. Deputy Jim Daly is willing to act as Acting Chairman to conduct the proceedings temporarily. I invite nominations.
This meeting has been convened for the purpose of consideration by this select sub-committee of the Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Bill 2013 which was referred to it by order of the Dáil on 6 December 2013. The Bill addresses the situation where an under-funded defined benefit pension scheme winds up in deficit or elects to restructure. At present it is possible that pensioners receive all or almost all of the pension fund while members who have contributed but not retired receive considerably less than expected. The Bill will ensure a more equal distribution of assets in an under-funded defined benefit scheme when an insolvency restructuring occurs. The measures will apply only in a limited set of circumstances and, therefore, to a small number of schemes.
I welcome the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Burton, and officials from her Department. My intention is for the select sub-committee to conclude its consideration of Committee Stage of the Bill this morning. Is that agreed?
I do not think there should be a guillotine as there is a range of issues, which are highly complex. The Bill was only circulated in recent weeks. I do not think we should delay and if we get the answers, we can finish it. We should set aside this afternoon as well, if required.
Yes. I understand there is an arrangement for a sos and to come back in the afternoon and evening. I am fine with that and I am at the select sub-committee's disposal.