Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Public Sector Pensions

Photo of Peter FitzpatrickPeter Fitzpatrick (Louth, Independent)
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152. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will confirm whether the Government will take action in relation to Garda pensions, specifically those who have joined post-2013 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [60621/22]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Single Scheme is a statutory Public Service Career-Average Defined Benefit Pension Scheme, established on 1 January 2013 under the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012. The entitlements of the Single Scheme are clearly set out in law and were enacted on 28 July 2012. All new entrant public servants, including members of An Garda Síochána hired after 1 January 2013 are members of the Single Scheme. It should be noted that while career averaging pension schemes are common across the public and private sectors, defined benefit schemes are no longer commonly available in the private sector.

Members of An Garda Síochána are categorised as being members of the ‘Uniformed Accrual’ cohort and are eligible for retirement benefits earlier than standard accrual members. Uniformed Accrual members pay employee contributions at higher rates than Standard Accrual members and accrue benefits at higher rates.

Members of An Garda Síochána who retire at the Compulsory Retirement Age (normally 55 years of age) are eligible to receive their retirement lump-sum in addition to the commencement of their pension benefit payments as well as still having the opportunity to work in other employment.

The Single Scheme is integrated with the Contributory State Pension and members pay full PRSI Class A contributions and therefore have access to the Contributory State Pension, from the Normal Retirement Age of 66 years.

An Interdepartmental Working Group, which includes representatives of Departments where there are fast accrual groups of employees, is in place for 2023. Its purpose is to generate an evidence base regarding the current fast accruals landscape, (for both pre-existing scheme and single scheme groups).

This work will enable DPER to review current fast accruals policies and inform future policy direction. Cognisance must be taken of the fact that fast accruals are beneficial terms that many other public servants do not enjoy. This also includes the fact that an earlier Mandatory Retirement Age does not preclude subsequent employments in other sectors, including the public sector, and in turn further pension accruals.

I am not in a position to comment on AVCs or other private pension schemes, as these are financial decisions to be made by individuals.


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