Written answers

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Personnel

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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8. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to address specific non-pensionable issues such as age extension across the rank spectrum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4148/20]

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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The Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) report on recruitment and retention in the Permanent Defence Force was accepted in full by Government in July 2019 and a comprehensive High Level Implementation Plan (HLIP) entitled "Strengthening our Defence Forces Phase One " was also published by Government at that time.

The PSPC report recommended a range of measures that would result in immediate and future benefits for members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) relating to pay and non-pay.

A range of non-pay projects, are currently underway or due to commence shortly. These include a review of recruitment methods, enhanced workforce planning, enhanced professional military education, bespoke leadership training, development of a mental health and wellbeing strategy, a review of barriers to extended participation in the PDF, the development of further non-pay retention measures and consideration of the provision of additional specialist posts in certain areas.

In particular, Project R4 - options to tackle barriers to extended participation in the PDF - includes the possibility of extending retirement ages for members of the PDF. Given the complexities involved, it was decided to approach this project in two phases as follows:

- Phase 1 – Review of Mandatory Retirement Ages (MRAs) for Officers

- Phase 2 - Review Contracts of Service for Enlisted Personnel.

The review of MRAs for officers is currently on-going, with the review of contracts of service for enlisted personnel due to commence later this year.


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