Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
458. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if he will address pension concerns with regard to fire fighters (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19655/17]
The retirement age for retained fire fighters is 55 but may be extended to age 58 subject to medical fitness requirements. In 2008, retained fire fighters were given the option of joining the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS) and receive a pension and retirement lump sum based on their pensionable remuneration and length of service. Where a retained fire fighter, who is a member of the Scheme, retires on their compulsory retirement age, the lump sum and LGSS part of their pension are immediately payable. Any social welfare element of their pension will be payable at State pension age. Retained fire fighters attendance is part-time on a “fire call out” basis and many of the fire fighters are employed separately on a whole-time basis in other employments, some are self-employed and others are whole-time local authority employees. These employees can of course continue in their working lives outside of the retained fire services.
Only a very small percentage of retained fire fighters chose to join the LGSS in 2008. Those retained fire fighters who opted not to join will not receive a pension. On retirement, a non-pensionable gratuity of 1/8th of the annual retainer multiplied by the number of years of actual service (up to a maximum of four times the annual retainer) is payable to this group.
All retained fire fighters appointed after 1 January 2013 must join the Single Public Service Pension Scheme and are subject to the rules of that Scheme at retirement. This Scheme is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.