75. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether fast accrual is designed to deliver optimal final benefits after 30 years of contributions and that standard accrual is designed to deliver optimal benefits after 40 years of contributions in Defence Forces pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18315/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Military occupational pension (superannuation) schemes operate within the broader context and framework of public service pension policy as determined by Government.  The design, structure etc. of military superannuation arrangements has evolved in the overall context of public service pension reforms, especially developments over the past two decades or more.  For operational and HR policy reasons, Permanent Defence Force (PDF)...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the person with responsibility for final sign-off of Army Pensions Board decisions; and if the Minister of State with special responsibility for Defence is empowered to sign off on same. (Question 15442/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the Army Pensions Acts 1923-1980 a disability pension or gratuity may, following retirement, be granted to a former member of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) for permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad)  or to a disease attributable to, or aggravated by, overseas service with a United Nations Force.    
The criteria for awarding a disability pension or gr...

44. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason a person (details supplied) who is in receipt of a pension had their entitlement cut from 31 years to 21 years upon reaching 66 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13263/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 45 together.
Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate retirement pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Under those Schemes, maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, the rate of which varies according to retiring rank and ...

45. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason recipients of pensions from his Department have their pension entitlement cut from 31 to 21 years upon reaching 66 years of age; if similar rules exist across other Departments; the rationale for these rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13288/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 45 together.
Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate retirement pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Under those Schemes, maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, the rate of which varies according to retiring rank and ...

13. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason members of the Defence Forces that have served the country for more than 31 years face a reduction in their pension entitlements when they come to the age for drawing the State pension (contributory); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12618/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 to 15, inclusive, together.
Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate retirement pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Under those Schemes, maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, the rate of which varies according to retiri...

14. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of retired Defence Force personnel with more than 31 years of service drawing a pension from the Defence Forces. (Question 12619/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 to 15, inclusive, together.
Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate retirement pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Under those Schemes, maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, the rate of which varies according to retiri...

15. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Force personnel over 66 years of age that have had reductions in the Army pension when they reach the age to draw the State pension (contributory). (Question 12620/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 to 15, inclusive, together.
Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate retirement pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Under those Schemes, maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, the rate of which varies according to retiri...

96. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of persons, by county, who were in receipt of the widows of deceased War of Independence veterans’ pension at the end of 2017 or for the date the most recent information is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7345/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As at end-January 2018, the information requested by the Deputy is set out in tabular format as follows.
 County Widows of deceased Veterans of the War of Independence – numbers in receipt of pensions from the Department of Defence Cavan 2 Clare 3 Cork 6 Donegal 1 Dublin 6 Galway 2 Kerry 1 Kildare 1 Laois 1 Leitrim 2 Mayo 2 Meath 1 Monaghan 1 Roscommon 2 Tipperary 9 Waterford 4 Westmeath ...

98. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason former Army servicemen have not received an increase in their Army service pension in the past nine years; his plans to increase their Army service pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6848/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The last occasion that public service pensions, including Defence Forces pensions, were increased was on 1 September 2008. Up until then, public service occupational pensions, including Defence Forces pensions, were generally adjusted in line with, and from the same operative date as, relevant pay increases applied to other corresponding public servants. In the intervening years since end-2008, the Deputy will be aware that th...

14. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason in circumstances in which there has been no change to the conditions upon which his Department agreed to pay a supplementary pension he has not addressed the situation in a timeframe and manner similar to the measures approved for other public servants. (Question 3454/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I take it the Deputy is referring to the absence of the concept of “supplementary pensions” from the provisions of the single public service pension scheme. 
As I indicated in my response to recent Questions, the occupational pension scheme terms of post-1 January 2013 new entrants to the public service, including the Permanent Defence Force, are governed by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 20...

136. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when personal superannuation fund statements for 2015 and 2016, as provided for under the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 are required to be issued to members of the Defence Forces recruited since 2012; when they will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2770/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (“Single Scheme”) generally applies to all new-entrant public servants with effect from 1 January 2013.  The rules of the Scheme are set out in the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 (‘2012 Act’).
With regard to Statements of Benefits, the 2012 Act provides that Statements are to be issued;
- on an annual basis to all active (employed) members at 31 Dece...

108. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 47 of 12 December 2017, if the issue of supplementary pension changes for post-2013 recruits was brought to the attention of the Defence Forces representative associations during the negotiations on the single pension scheme Act of 2012; and if not, if the negotiations centred solely on the career average earnings model of final benefit. (Question 54527/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I indicated in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 47 on 12th December 2017, the occupational pension scheme terms of post-1 January 2013 new entrants to the public service, including the Permanent Defence Force, are governed by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012.  All first-time new entrants to pensionable public service employment on or after that date are members of the Single S...

47. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to make provisions for post-2013 Defence Forces members who are mandatorily retired at 58 years of age and who are not eligible to receive a contributory State pension until 66 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52735/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Deputy Clare Daly: There has correctly been much talk recently about the pay and conditions of Defence Forces personnel, but I wish to raise the issue of the Defence Forces pension system, which is a total mess. Rules which have been changed over the austerity years are simply having a brutal impact on retired members. Those who entered the Defence Forces as officers from 2013 and who will have no choice but to retire at 58 or 60, will face the loss of the value of their contributory pensions....

6. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to review the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47144/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: Has the Minister any plans to review the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012? I ask because the current position of the Minister of State at the Department of Defence is that the Act does not provide for pre-existing superannuation arrangements and, consequently, a 2009 arrangement, CCR 421, which allows for a supplementary pension for retired commissioned officers to be in place.
 ...

60. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the reference within LRA 2 to an interdepartmental working group on the alignment of the mandatory public service retirement age with the payment of the State pension contributory; if the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform informed the Defence Forces representative associations during pay talks that, due to the unique demands of the military service with respect to early mandatory retirement ages, the Minister of the sector could provide, in appropriate circumstances, arrangements to satisfy the entitlement for the State pension contributory for those who pay PRSI class A; and the way in which he will respond to this proposal. (Question 44022/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 61 together. 
I assume that the Deputy is referring to Paragraph 6.4 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 which indicates that a review is being undertaken by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with public service employers, of the current statutory and operational considerations giving rise to barriers to extended participation in the public service workforce...

61. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on discussions he has had with the representative organisations on the issue of mandatory retirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43997/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 61 together. 
I assume that the Deputy is referring to Paragraph 6.4 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 which indicates that a review is being undertaken by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with public service employers, of the current statutory and operational considerations giving rise to barriers to extended participation in the public service workforce...

2106. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to address the reduction of benefits to Defence Forces personnel since the introduction of the single pension scheme in January 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37936/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I indicated to the House in my reply to Question No. 51 on 11th July 2017, the occupational pension scheme terms of post-1 January 2013 new entrants to the public service, including the Permanent Defence Force, are governed by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012. All first-time new entrants to pensionable public service employment on or after that date are members of the Single Scheme.  U...

2107. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the findings of a report by a company (details supplied) into the career pay and superannuation arrangements of Defence Forces officers relative to public servants. (Question 37937/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in each part of the Irish public sector have traditionally been set by reference to levels of pay available in related public sector employments. On 18 October 2016, following Government approval, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, established the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) to advise Government on Public Service remuneration policy. 
The report referred...

51. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason for the decision to end the supplementary pension paid to military personnel commissioned after 2013 that was in place to bridge the gap from the date of their mandatory retirement to the time of receipt of the State pension; his plans to remove mandatory retirement in lieu of the decision to end the supplementary pensions for military personnel commissioned after 2013; the effect the decision to end the supplementary pensions for military personnel commissioned after 2013 will have on retention within the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32264/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The occupational pension scheme terms of post-1 January 2013 new entrants to the public service, including entrants to the Permanent Defence Force, are governed by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012. All first-time new entrants to pensionable public service employment on or after that date are members of the Single Scheme.
Under the 2012 Act, overall statutory responsibility for the Single...

300. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the basis on which a pension was awarded, reduced, restored on appeal to the court and subsequently reduced again in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30549/17 asked on 29 Jun 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Army Pensions Acts provide for the grant of pensions and gratuities to former members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) in respect of permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad) or due to disease attributable to or aggravated by overseas service with the United Nations. Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923, as amended, provides that “Any compensation...

645. Deputy James Browne asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way he plans to address the concerns of post-2013 entrants to the Defence Forces who will no longer be entitled to a supplementary pension when aged between 58 and 60 and must wait to receive retirement benefits when aged over 66. (Question 29497/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The occupational pension scheme terms of post-1 January 2013 new entrants to the public service, including the Permanent Defence Force, are governed by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012. The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (“Single Scheme”), which was introduced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, commenced with effect from 1 January 2013. All first-time new entrants ...

2283. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim will have a decision on their application for a disability pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27440/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am advised that the individual in question was discharged from the Defence Forces on 1 May 2015 and that his application for a disability pension was received by my Department in June 2015. The nature of disability pension applications means that the procedure for investigating them takes some time to complete.  Once an application is received in my Department the details provided must be checked and verified with the Defence...

701. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason a person’s Defence Forces pension entitlement changes when the recipient turns 66 years of age. (Question 24520/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pension Schemes, in the case of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Privates, 21 years is the minimum service required for an immediate pension and gratuity, regardless of age. Maximum retirement benefits accrue after 31 years. The 21-year pension, which varies according to retiring rank and other factors, is payable for the person’s lifetime. Where qualifying service is more than 21 y...

631. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will effect the necessary changes to Defence Forces regulations to allow post 1994 and pre-2004 entrants to the Defence Forces extend their service beyond 21 years in order that they may accumulate 21 years pensionable service if their initial 21 years service was broken by a career break, unpaid maternity leave or term time leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2611/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The issue referred to by the Deputy primarily impacts upon female participation and retention in the Defence Forces. I have always taken an active interest in recruitment and retention matters. Under the heading of Gender, the White Paper commits to equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the development of initiatives in this regard. 
Officials in my Department are currentl...

576. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of a pension in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35912/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Since October 2015, the processing and payment of monthly Defence Forces pensions on behalf of the Department of Defence is carried out by the Payroll Shared Services Centre (PSSC) operated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
The person concerned is in receipt of a Defence Forces occupational pension, which is liable to income tax and the universal social charge on the same basis as applies ge...