Thursday, 20 December 2018
Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages
This is an amendment tabled by Deputy Cowen of my party. I am glad it was accepted and is incorporated. I will not labour the point we made earlier in this House, which was presumably made in the Dáil and which was equally eloquently addressed by Senator Alice Mary Higgins just now, but it is a very small cohort of people who are affected by this. The intention of the Bill was announced a year ago. I hope the Bill will now pass. We are talking about some people who through being victims of the timing will not be covered by the intentions of the Government's Bill, which is to do exactly what we are trying to do. I therefore ask the Minister of State to carry out the review but also to do as best he can to try to improve the situation of the people affected. What if the Bill had been passed the day it was announced a year ago? Obviously, legislation does not happen that way. We are not asking the Minister of State to go back to 1975, 1995, 2005 or 2015. This is purely to examine the people who saw this anomaly a year ago, thought that if the Bill were passed a little more quickly than it has been they would not be affected or would be covered by the Bill, yet have not been covered by the Bill. I ask the Minister of State to do whatever he can. I know he has spoken about this in the past and it may be difficult to do, but it is a small cohort of people. Not everyone will want to exercise the option anyway, but for the small number of people who may be interested in doing so, I urge him to try to facilitate them as best he can.