Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Staff
142. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a full-time employee with a third level college who is due to reach the age of 65 years in March 2017 and therefore faces mandatory retirement in September 2017 will be able to agree an extension of their employment contract for an additional period; and the flexibility which exists for the extension of such public sector employment contracts in advance of the expected change of the rules regarding mandatory retirement ages. [14786/17]
The position with regard to employees in a third level college is that in accordance with the terms of their superannuation scheme, it is not possible to remain in pensionable service beyond the age of 65. The person would at that point immediately qualify for pension and lump-sum based on the service they have accrued.
With reference to how the vacant post should be subsequently be filled, it is a matter for the third level institution as an autonomous body to deal with that process.
As the Deputy will be aware, since the introduction of the moratorium on public sector recruitment, an Employment Control Framework (ECF) has been in place for the higher education sector which provides institutions with considerable flexibility to fill vacancies, through recruitment or promotions on the basis of meeting an overall ceiling of posts.
Under this Framework the re-employment of retired staff should only occur in very limited exceptional circumstances and in these cases the salaries offered may not exceed 20% of the full-time salary of the post of the individual at the time of their retirement, adjusted to reflect the application of Government pay policy in the period since their date of retirement – including in particular the application of salary adjustments imposed under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No. 2) Act 2009.
In Budget 2015, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced that the existing ECFs and associated moratoriums would be lifted and replaced with a system of delegated sanction for recruiting and promoting up to Principal Officer level, subject to adherence by Departments to binding pay ceilings and ongoing compliance with Workforce Planning requirements. In light of this announcement a new Delegated Sanction Agreement for the higher education sector will be put in place shortly.