Written answers

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Pension Provisions

Photo of Cathal BerryCathal Berry (Kildare South, Independent)
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215. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of persons who received a waiver under sections 52(4) of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012, for the abatement of a public service pension within the past five years; the breakdown by Department and grade of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27737/21]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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The principle of abatement of a public service pension is longstanding within the rules of various public service pension schemes and abatement is an important aspect of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 (the Single Scheme Act). The policy rationale is to avoid a situation where individuals benefit from both a valuable public service pension and also a public service salary. In that context, pension abatement represents a suitable and measured response to legitimate public concerns.

As the Deputy is aware, there is discretion under Section 52(4) of the Single Scheme Act, to grant a waiver of abatement. These waivers are generally granted only in exceptional circumstances and for a limited period of time. Each waiver application and business case is assessed on its merits. An important consideration is the need to avoid creating an incentive for more experienced staff to retire on pension and return to the workforce. It is also this Department’s view that long term reliance on retired staff is at odds with good HR practice.

The Deputy has asked about waivers granted by this Department in respect of individual cases/applications. The Department of Public and Expenditure and Reform has directly granted 7 separate waivers of abatement over the period May 2016 to date in respect of specific applications for particular individuals re-employed in the following Departments:

Department Number of Waivers
Department of Transport, 2
Department of Foreign Affairs 2
Department of Education 1
Department of Environment, Climate and Communications 1
Department of Justice 1

The grades generally encompass specialist positions or unique administrative roles.

The operational management and implementation of waivers are ultimately matters for individual Departments within the provisions set out in abatement legislation.


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