Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Department of Social Protection

Commencement of Legislation

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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95. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the details of the Acts currently in force for which she has lead responsibility and which have Parts or sections yet to be formally commenced, including the purpose of same, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46290/15]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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A number of provisions of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended, have still to be commenced. In addition, some provisions of the Civil Registration Act 2004, as amended, and the Pensions Act 1990, as amended, have still to be commenced.

Details of these provisions, and their current status, are set out in the following tables.

Uncommenced Provisions of Enactments for which Minister for Social Protection has responsibility

Amendments to Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (SWCA 2005)

Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005

Section 196


Section 265(1)


Schedule 5
Deduction from SW payments due to LA tenants. amended sections 196, 198 and 290A.


Definition of 'relevant purpose'. S.8 and amended the definition of 'relevant purpose' by substituting subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (b).

Reference to Irish Water. provides for the deletion of 'Irish Water' in Schedule 5 of the SWCA 2005 and the repeal of section 20 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014
Section 54, other than subsection (1) commenced by . Subsection (1) amends section 196 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. Commencement of provision is responsibility of Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.

Commencement of provision is responsibility of Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.

Order to be made by Minister for Social Protection after consultation with Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.


Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007

Section 21(a)


Section 27
Amends section 149 of the SWCA in relation to entitlement to the Pre-Retirement Allowance where a person had previously been in receipt of Carer's Allowance.

Amends section 220 of the SWCA 2005 to enable payment of Child Benefit to be split between the child's parents.
The necessity for this provision is currently being examined and a decision on how best to proceed will be taken following the completion of this examination.

This amendment is being reviewed in the light of more recent developments in this area and a decision will be taken on its continued necessity in the light of this review.
Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2008

Sections 12 to 14

Section 17(5)
Inserts new Chapter 5A in Part 3 of the SWCA 2005 and makes consequential amendments to the provisions of that Act to provide for the transfer of the Blind Welfare Allowance from the HSE to the Department of Social Protection.

Makes provision for the treatment of outstanding claims for Domiciliary Care Allowance held by the HSE on the transfer of administrative responsibility for that scheme to the Department of Social Protection.
This provision will be commenced as soon as the necessary administrative arrangements have been agreed with the HSE and Department of Health.

The necessity for this provision is currently being examined and a decision on how best to proceed will be taken following this review.
Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010

Section 3

Section 6

Section 14
Inserts new section 296A into the SWCA 2005 and makes consequential amendments to the provisions of that Act to clarify the rules relating to which parent a child will normally be regarded as residing with for social welfare payment purposes.

Amends section 40 of the SWCA 2005 to enable claims for Illness Benefit to be processed in the event of the outbreak of a flu pandemic.

Amends section 220 of the SWCA 2005 to clarify the rules relating to which parent a child will normally be regarded as residing with for Child Benefit purposes.
This amendment is being reviewed in the light of more recent developments in this area and a decision will be taken on its continued necessity in the light of this review.

This provision will be commenced if the need arises.

This amendment is being reviewed in the light of more recent developments in this area and a decision will be taken on its continued necessity in the light of this review.
Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011

Section 7(1)

Section 7(3)
Provides for an increase in pensionable age for State pension purposes from 66 to 67 years

Provides for an increase in pensionable age for State pension purposes from 67 to 68 years
Comes into operation on 1 January 2021

Comes into operation on 1 January 2028
Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014

Section 9

Section 10
Clarifies the provisions contained in Part 6 of the SWCA 2005 in relation to entitlement to family income supplement (FIS) in cases where the claimant is living apart from his or her spouse or civil partner and children.

Clarifies the provisions contained in Part 6 of the SWCA 2005 relating to the impact of a change of circumstances on continuing entitlement to FIS during the 52 week entitlement period and on the weekly rate of FIS payable during that period.

It is expected that the provisions of sections 9 and 10 will be commenced in due course.

Amendments to Pensions Act 1990

Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Pensions (Amendment) Act 2002

Section 3



Section 39
Inserts new Part X (sections 91 to 125) into the Pensions Act 1990, which provides for the establishment of Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs).

Part X has been commenced with the exception of section 122, which provides for the replacement of buy-out bonds with PRSAs. A buy-out-bond is a pension bond into which persons can transfer the value of their fund if they leave their employment/pension scheme.

Inserts new section 56A into the Pensions Act 1990 to provide for the consideration of index-linked increases in the rates payable in Defined Benefit pension schemes
Originally, the intention was that new buy-out bonds would cease when PRSAs became available. However, it is considered that buy-out bonds will be required in the short to medium term.

The situation will be kept under review in consultation with the Pensions Authority.

This provision does not require that indexation be introduced, only that it be examined. The situation will be kept under review in consultation with the Pensions Authority.
Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2015
Part 3Amends Part 11 of the Pension Act 1990 is to allow the holder of the office of the Financial Services Ombudsman to also hold the office of the Pensions OmbudsmanTo be commenced in Q2 of 2016.

Uncommenced provisions of Civil Registration Act 2004

Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Section 4 and the Second Schedule

Sections 13(1)(f) and (g)

Part 7 (section 59)

Section 73
Repeal various enactments dealing with civil registration matters prior to the enactment of the Civil Registration Act 2004

Provide for the establishment and maintenance of a register of all decrees of divorce and all decrees of nullity of marriage

Provides for the registration of decrees of divorce and decrees of nullity of marriage

Provides for the compilation and publication of statistics relating to events registered under the Act.
Section 4 and the Second Schedule have been commenced, except in so far as they relate to the repeal of the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1952. The repeal of the 1952 Act has been examined in the context of the commencement of section 73 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 – see section 73 below.

Commencement of these provisions is not currently being proposed for financial and operational reasons.

Commencement of this Part is not currently being proposed for financial and operational reasons.

Section 73 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 mirrors the provisions contained in the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1952.

Section 73 and section 4, in so far as it relates to the repeal of the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1952, will be commenced following examination of the effects of repealing the Act of 1952.

Uncommenced provisions of Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014

Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Section 5



Section 6





Section 7



Section 8
Provides that a person who is a qualified informant must produce to the registrar any evidence, including documentary evidence relating to a birth as requested by the registrar. The section also provides that a Superintendent Registrar may complete the registration of a birth where, in exceptional circumstances, a qualified informant has not signed the register to allow completion of the registration. Under this section a child who has attained the age of 18 years may be considered as a qualified informant in relation to the registration or re-registration of their own birth entry.

This section amends section 22 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 and contains a number of amendments relating to the registration of the father's name where the parents are not married.

Provides for the re-registration of a birth and contains a number of amendments to section 23 of the 2004 Act.

Amends the 2004 Act by the insertion of a new section which provides for the re-registration of a birth of a child, where the parents were not married on the date of the birth, on foot of a court order.
The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.


The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.
Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Section 9


Section 11


Section 12

Section 13

Section 15(a)

Provides for the amendment of the 2004 Act by insertion of a new section 25A which provides that where the parents of the child cannot agree on a surname that the registrar may complete the registration by leaving the surname blank or in cases where a surname is already registered, that the existing surname shall remain

Amends section 37 of the 2004 Act to extend the definition of a qualified informant of a death.

Provides that early neonatal deaths are notified to the Superintendent Registrar of the area where the death occurred.

Provides for a record of deaths of Irish citizens who die abroad who were ordinarily resident within the state within 5 years prior to their death.

Amends section 46 of the 2004 Act.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.
Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Section 19

Section 21(a)

Section 22

Section 26

Section 28


Section 29(a)

Section 29(c)


Section 30

Provides for the recognition of certain marriages carried out at foreign embassies in the State.

Amends section 59B of the 2004 Act.

Amends section 59C of the 2004 Act

Provides for the recognition of certain civil partnership ceremonies carried out at foreign embassies in the State.

Amends section 64 of the 2004 Act providing for the cancellation of entries in the registers.

Deletes reference to consultation with the Minister for Social and Family Affairs in section 66 of the 2004 Act.

Provides for sharing of information with the Road Safety Authority.


Provides that the Minister may make Regulations prescribing a lesser fee for life event certificates where required for official purposes.
To be commenced in March 2016

Superseded by the enactment of the Marriage Act 2015.

Superseded by the enactment of the Marriage Act 2015.

To be commenced in March 2016

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

Not being commenced.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.
Uncommenced ProvisionDescriptionStatus
Section 31

Section 32

Section 33

Section 34
Amends section 68 of the 2004 Act consequential to sections 5,6,7,8 and 11 of the 2014 Act

Adds to the list of offences consequential to amendments made by the 2014 Act.

Adds to the list of penalties consequential to amendments made by the 2014 Act.

Amends the First Schedule of the 2004 Act.
Will be commenced when relevant sections are commenced.

Will be commenced when relevant sections are commenced.

Will be commenced when relevant sections are commenced.

The provisions of the Act are being commenced on a step by step basis dependent on factors including software development and training of registrars. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.

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