Written answers

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Public Sector Pensions Levy

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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81. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to consider measures to ensure parity in the pension restorations of public servants who retired on reduced pensions, as per those who retired on full pensions. [41919/15]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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82. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will engage with the Alliance of Retired Public Servants regarding the potential discontinuation of parity. [41920/15]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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83. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has considered reducing the timeframe for the restoration of public service pensions, considering the projected growth in the economy. [41921/15]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 to 83, inclusive, together.

I and my officials have met with representatives of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants (ARPS) on a regular basis.  My proposals to Government earlier this year in respect of the amelioration of the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR) burden on pensioners, and which now form part of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Bill 2015, were welcomed at that time by representatives of the Alliance.  These proposals deliver on my commitment to ease the burden of the PSPR as early as economic and fiscal circumstances allowed me to do so, with a focus on  benefitting impacted lower-income pensions proportionately more.

The proposed ameliorative measures for public service pensions in the 2015 Bill willdeliver the part-restoration of the PSPR cuts in three stages effective from 1 January 2016, 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2018. When fully rolled-out from 1 January 2018, this means that all public service pensions in payment with pre-PSPR values of up to €34,132 will be fully exempt from PSPR, while those pensioners not fully removed from the reach of PSPR will, in general, benefit by €1,680 per year. The cost of these  changes is estimated at about €90 million on a full-year basis from 2018.

The issue of post retirement pension increases will have to be addressed in the medium term, as we move beyond the FEMPI era towards a more normal environment for pay and pension setting, while continuing to ensure the affordability of the cost of the public service over the long term. However at this juncture, I believe that the current PSPR ameliorative measures represent a fair and sound basis on which, in the improved but still constrained fiscal space, public service pension reductions may be restored in a phased, moderate and progressive fashion, with those on lower PSPR impacted pensions benefiting to a greater extent. 

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