Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Public Sector Pensions
252. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the full savings to the State from changes made to public sector pensions since 2009 to date including the savings from the public service pension reduction on pensioners and the pension related deduction and additional superannuation contribution on serving staff; and the full savings to the State in each year from contributions sought from other occupational schemes since 2009 to date as a result of the financial crisis or as a part of the FEMPI legislation in tabular form. [30328/21]
The Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR) was introduced on 1 January 2011 under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2010. It is the only measure which has decreased the actual payment value of public service pensions since 2008.
PSPR is applied in a progressive manner, operating by way of percentage reduction to pensions above the relevant exemption threshold, with proportionately larger reductions imposed on relatively higher value pensions.
A three-stage partial reversal of PSPR was provided for in the FEMPI Act 2015, with rate reductions occurring on 1 January in each of the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provided for the substantial further lessening of the impact of PSPR by way of rate and/or threshold changes in each of the years 2019 and 2020.
The annual yield at the launch of PSPR was estimated at €100 million and at its peak, PSPR was bringing in an annual yield of €135 million. The current approximate annual yield for the remaining number of affected pensions is approximately €12 million per annum. PSPR will be removed from this remaining cohort with effect from 1 July 2021 in accordance with the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 (Section 27(3)) Order 2020.
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) was introduced in March 2009 under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 (as amended) and was a temporary deduction from the salary of serving public service employees who hold a public service pension entitlement, as defined in the legislation. PRD did not apply to pensioners. PRD was replaced by the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) with effect from 1 January 2019. The Exchequer yield from PRD in the years 2009 to 2018 is set out in the table below.
Note: The years 2009 to 2016 do not include Local Government PRD yields. The yearS 2017 and 2018 do not include the HSE PRD yield.
Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, PRD was replaced by the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) with effect from 1 January 2019. As with PRD, ASC only applies to serving public service employees who have a public service pension entitlement and does not apply to pensioners. ASC forms a significant additional contribution from public servants towards the sustainability of public service pensions. The yield in the years 2019 and 2020 is set out in the table below.
Note: Figures do not include the HSE ASC yield which can be obtained directly from the Department of Health.
PRD and PSPR were adopted as part of the suite of financial emergency measures necessary to secure and stabilise the public finances. These measures applied to all relevant serving or retired public servants, as appropriate, and a distinction was not made based on pension scheme membership.
The ASC was introduced as part of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 - 2020 as a permanent contribution towards the cost of Public Service pensions, relating specifically to pension scheme membership and the costs of the benefits arising from those schemes.
I am not aware of any other cost saving measures involving the collection of additional contributions from other public service occupational pension schemes to which the Deputy may be referring. In relation to employee pension contributions more generally, the authorities responsible for the administration and oversight of the other range of schemes operating in the various sectors of the Irish public service are, in general, the relevant employers and Ministers in those sectors. It would be a matter for those sectoral authorities, including relevant Ministers, to supply any specific information which may be requested in respect of queries on employee contributions for individual schemes.