88. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 383 of 20 June 2017 and other statements from his Department (details supplied), the position regarding persons with this legislation benefit under the Irish airlines superannuation scheme that wish to transfer from IASS to other schemes within the PSTN at full value of their benefits prior to December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19226/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Irish Airlines Pensions has advised this Department that as a result of the deficit that exists on the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS) pension fund, it is not in a position to fully fund transfers effected through the Public Sector Transfer Network (PSTN).
The rules of the PSTN require a full transfer of pension entitlements. In the case of funded pension schemes, this means that a transfer payment must be made in r...

112. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of discussions of the Community High Level Forum relating to community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors who have been seeking through their union representatives the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme; and the steps he will take to ensure that the Labour Court recommendation is implemented by Departments in view of the fact that private sector employers and unions are requested to respect the labour court. (Question 11691/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question no. 54985/17 answered on 16 January 2018
 ...

647. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 330 to 332, inclusive, of 1 February 2018, if her attention has been drawn to the conclusions of the recent actuarial review of the Social Insurance Fund in regard to using a 30-year basis for full pension entitlement (details supplied), in particular the conclusion that under a 30-year basis, a significant number of persons will be negatively impacted in view of the proposal to use a 40-year basis in the interim total contributions approach. (Question 7241/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 647 to 650, inclusive, together.
A policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pensions calculation was adopted by Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010, as was the decision to base the entitlements of all new pensioners on this approach from around 2020. The move to such a system has been signalled, therefore, for a significant period of time.
As was...

648. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the guarantees or provision she plans to make for the first generation of pensioners under the total contributions approach from 2020 onwards in order that persons will not be faced with significant cuts to their pension expectations with no time to adjust their planning; and if her attention has been drawn to a conclusion in the national framework plan (details supplied). (Question 7242/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 647 to 650, inclusive, together.
A policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pensions calculation was adopted by Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010, as was the decision to base the entitlements of all new pensioners on this approach from around 2020. The move to such a system has been signalled, therefore, for a significant period of time.
As was...

649. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the home care credits in the total contributions approach will be allocated in the same way that unemployment credits are, namely, that in the same contribution year a person can have a mix of paid contributions and home care credits. (Question 7243/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 647 to 650, inclusive, together.
A policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pensions calculation was adopted by Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010, as was the decision to base the entitlements of all new pensioners on this approach from around 2020. The move to such a system has been signalled, therefore, for a significant period of time.
As was...

650. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to change a core principle of the State contributory pension by introducing means testing in view of the fact that she has referred to other sources of income in discussions on the impact of pension rate changes on affected pensioners. (Question 7244/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 647 to 650, inclusive, together.
A policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pensions calculation was adopted by Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010, as was the decision to base the entitlements of all new pensioners on this approach from around 2020. The move to such a system has been signalled, therefore, for a significant period of time.
As was...

276. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to ensure that CIÉ makes funding available to the 10,000 active members of its two pension schemes for independent legal advice. (Question 5048/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

277. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to initiate an independent investigation into the governance of the two CIÉ pension schemes. (Question 5049/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

278. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will intervene with CIÉ on behalf of the 10,000 membership of the CIÉ pension schemes to oblige the company to answer all outstanding questions. (Question 5050/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 to 281, inclusive, 285 to 287, inclusive, 289 to 291, inclusive, 293 and 294 together.
Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the trustees of the pension schemes, the CIÉ Group and their employees. 
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the proc...

88. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce measures to restore pension benefits in the semi-State sectors to levels that would have been established but for the introduction of the pension levy in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4236/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
The levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties. Something had to be done to preserve and boost jobs and it is an unavoidable fact that difficult economic situations require hard and very often unpopular decisions. All sectors of the economy had to contribute to the recovery plan and the levy was designed...

89. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the steps he is taking to end the lifetime reduction in pension benefits for persons in the private and commercial sector as a result of the pension levy that was introduced in 2011 in view of the fact that equitable reductions are harder on lower paid pensioners. (Question 4235/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
The levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties. Something had to be done to preserve and boost jobs and it is an unavoidable fact that difficult economic situations require hard and very often unpopular decisions. All sectors of the economy had to contribute to the recovery plan and the levy was designed...

38. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the progress on addressing problems in regard to the distribution of financial assets in a pension scheme (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50585/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I sympathise with the Minister as, like her, I am following so many pensions investigations and I am not sure what she thinks this question is about or even what my office thinks it is about. In my head, it covers two elements. The first is a progress report on the investigation sought by the Minister from the Pensions Authority into the Aer Lingus second supplementary pension scheme. It could also potentially address the review of the annuity matter we discussed in a Topic...

643. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the information in her possession in terms of the Pensions Authority investigation of a company’s (details supplied) second supplementary fund wind up; when it is likely to be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50020/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Scheme trustees have duties and responsibilities under trust law, under other relevant legislation and under the Pensions Act, 1990, as amended. The duties of pension scheme trustees include administering the trust in accordance with the law and the terms of the trust deed and rules. Consequently any decisions made by corporate or individual trustees of an occupational pension scheme are governed by the relevant leg...

179. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason for the delay in publishing regulations regarding the augmentation of single scheme benefits for public servants in the post 2013 single public sector pension scheme, in view of the fact that this delay prevents public servants from making additional voluntary contributions to the single public sector pension scheme and thus prevents them from making adequate provision for their retirement.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49277/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (Single Scheme) was introduced for new entrants to the public service from 1 January 2013. There is no specific provision in the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 which established the Single Scheme, to provide for the augmentation of pension benefits by individual members of the Single Scheme. Notwithstanding this, a commitment has been given that a...

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 383 of 20 June 2017, if he will provide the actuarial transfer value tables for the public sector transfer network as referenced. (Question 30547/17 asked on 29 Jun 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The actuarial tables currently in use for calculating transfer values via the Public Service Transfer Network (PSTN) are as follows. These tables are subject to review periodically.
The tables are for use in calculating the values of retirement benefits included on the information forms. They should not be used in cases where a transfer value falls to be paid on foot of a Pension Adjustment Order (e.g. a case where the benefi...

383. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the body that pays the shortfall in transfer value in circumstances in which the benefits accruing to a member of a pension scheme in a public service transfer network organisation have been reduced on foot of a section 50 direction with the effect that the transfer value paid by the transferring organisation is reduced but the amount of transfer value payable in respect of that member by the receiving organisation must still reflect the full period of service in the organisation they are being transferred from. (Question 27730/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Public Sector Transfer Network allows employees to transfer service from one member organisation to another. The legislative provision for this is Section 4 of the Superannuation and Pensions Act 1963.  It provides for the transfer of pensionable service in the case of staff transfers between the Civil Service and “approved organisations”, and between one “approved organisation” and another. The Act provides that the Minist...

162. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection his views on the fact that no pension entitlements, other than the basic entitlement to the State pension, accrue for persons that give many years of their lives to working for community employment schemes, in view of the fact that such schemes are publicly funded and provide a vital public service; his plans to remedy this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22340/17 asked on 10 May 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Community Employment (CE) participants and supervisors are not employed by my Department, rather they are employees of private companies in the community and voluntary sector. Given that situation, the State is not responsible for funding pension arrangements for such employees, even where the companies in question are reliant on State funding. It is open to individuals to make provision for a pension by way of PRSA which all employers are ...

497. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection if his attention has been drawn to the financial hardship on those in co-ordinated occupational pension schemes that have retired early, in many cases through ill health, and whose pension has reduced by up to €1,000 per month on reaching 65 years of age in view of the fact they will not be entitled to a State contributory pension until they are 66 years of age and are not entitled to jobseeker’s benefit; and his plans to rectify this situation. (Question 13085/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 provided that State pension age will be increased gradually to 68 years. This began in January 2014 with the abolition of the State pension (transition) available from 65 for those who satisfied the qualifying conditions, thereby standardising State pension age for all at 66 years, which is the current State pension age. This will increase to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028. 
Re-introducing the State p...

363. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a statutory instrument must be signed in order for a pension scheme to both enter and exit the public service transfer network. (Question 3808/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Public Sector Transfer Network was set up based on Section 4 of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1963. Section 1 (a) of this Act states, “The Minister may by regulations designate organisations as approved organisations for the purposes of this section.” Accordingly for a public sector body to join the Network it must be listed in a Statutory Instrument. Since the Network was constituted over 200 bodies have joined and ...

107. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection the implications for workplace pension funds here as a result of the passing of the revised IORP directive by the European Parliament; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37905/16 asked on 30 Nov 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The first EU Directive 2003/41/EC on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP I) established the basic EU requirements for occupational pension funds and their supervision, including rules obliging schemes to invest their assets prudently. It is anticipated that the revised IORP directive (IORP II) will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union by the end of 2016 or in early ...

91. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection if his Department is undertaking or will undertake monitoring of the Pensions Authority’s achievement of its strategic objectives as laid out in its statement of strategy 2016-20; and if he is satisfied with the authority’s performance to date in tackling lack of governance or maladministration impacting on benefits and failure to pay benefits due, which is one of the risk priorities laid out in the strategy. (Question 35827/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Pensions Authority, under the Pensions Act 1990, is the regulator for occupational pension schemes in Ireland. The Authority provides a wide range of information and guidance to help and support trustees to comply with their regulatory obligations as set out under legislation. The Authority, in consultation with my Department, is continually assessing governance issues and making improvements in order to protect the members of pension s...

218. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the detail of the discussions he has had with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform regarding the transfer of members of the Central Remedial Clinic pension plan to the single public service pension scheme; the progress of those discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30725/16 asked on 20 Oct 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is funded by the Health Service Executive under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004. The CRC is therefore accountable, in the first instance, to the HSE. As outlined in previous Parliamentary Question replies the HSE was requested to work with the CRC to resolve this matter in the context of Government policy in relation to pay and pensions.
On 28 July my Department, following consultation with the Department of Public ...

219. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health when he was first informed that the Central Remedial Clinic pension plan was to be wound up. (Question 30726/16 asked on 20 Oct 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): On 18 May 2016 my Department received an email from the CEO of the CRC, with a copy of a letter attached, advising that following an Extraordinary meeting of the Board of the CRC on 17 May 2016 that it was decided to issue notice of termination of pension contributions to Irish Pensions Trust Ltd with effect from 18 May 2016.
Neither I or my officials had any advance notice of this decision.
 ...

827. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the pension entitlements of a person (details supplied). (Question 24394/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Question relates to an individual who undertook an overseas volunteering assignment for the Agency for Personal Service Overseas (APSO) between 1981 and 1983, and who is requesting that pension credits for this period be paid. In 2004, APSO was integrated with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The pension contributions involved would therefore fall to be paid by this Department, if applicable. The Public Service Pension Sch...

31. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection if he is concerned that the administration, consultancy and actuarial services to the Central Remedial Clinic plan were all provided by the same organisation (details supplied) and that this organisation also owned the trustee of the plan, given the abrupt wind-up of a plan that the actuary had said in 2014 was on track to meet the minimum funding standard by 21 December 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18699/16 asked on 30 Jun 2016 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Deputy will appreciate that it is not appropriate for me to comment on matters relating to an individual pension scheme. In the first instance it is the responsibility of the trustees of a pension scheme to ensure compliance with the funding standard and other obligations set out in the Pensions Act 1990, as amended. The Pensions Authority is the regulatory body charged with the supervision of pension schemes and has the necessary powers...