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...

26. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason there is currently no gratuity or pension for members retiring from the Reserve Defence Forces despite the fact that members of similar organisations in other countries receive the same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30287/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): It is important to state at the outset that I hold the members of the Reserve Defence Force in very high regard, as do all my colleagues in Government. I have been hugely impressed by the work that volunteer members of the Reserve Defence Force undertake in their local communities in the context of Aid to the Civil Authorities during periods of flooding and other such events, and the pride and professionalis...

968. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 345 of 29 September 2015, the reason section 13(2) had been predetermined as applying at that time even though no decision on the pension had been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26502/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): No consideration or decision under Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act has yet taken place in relation to the case referred to by the Deputy as the determination of the disability pension application has not yet been finalised in this case. 
The previous reply referred to by the Deputy stated that if the applicant in this case is awarded a disability pension Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923 will apply. What this m...

969. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the circumstances or rules applied by his Department not to have section 13(2) applied on a case under the Army Pensions Act where previous compensation was awarded. (Question 26503/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to answer Questions 969 and 970 together. 
Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923 (as amended) provides:
“Any compensation which may be received from or on behalf of the person alleged to be responsible for the act which caused the wounding or death of a person ….may be taken into consideration in fixing the amount of any pension, allowance or gratuity which might be awarded under this Act to or in respect of su...

970. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether it is acceptable that a person who has been deemed permanently incapable of work as a result of an injury acquired in the Defence Forces which led to them being medically discharged would be granted a reduced pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26504/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to answer Questions 969 and 970 together. 
Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923 (as amended) provides:
“Any compensation which may be received from or on behalf of the person alleged to be responsible for the act which caused the wounding or death of a person ….may be taken into consideration in fixing the amount of any pension, allowance or gratuity which might be awarded under this Act to or in respect of su...

934. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason there is no provision in the legislation for an Army disability pension to be paid in cases where mental trauma is suffered here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22369/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The Army Pensions Acts provide that a disability pension may, following retirement, be granted to a former member 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 to a disease attributable to or aggravated by overseas service with a United Nations Force. The Acts also provide that a disability pension may be granted in respect o...

566. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is aware of any concerns regarding the administration of the soldiers’ welfare fund in Baldonnel. (Question 18163/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): I am advised by the military authorities that there is an investigation currently underway in relation to the administration of the Benevolent Fund, which is funded through voluntary contributions from members of the Defence Forces. I understand that there is no direct Exchequer funding involved. That being said, pending the conclusion of this investigation I am not in a position to comment further.
 ...

284. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of persons in receipt of a Defence Forces pension. (Question 17359/16 asked on 22 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The number of persons in receipt of a pension from the Army Pensions Vote (35) was 12,147 at end-May 2016. This includes retirement pensions and disability pensions as well as spouses’ and children’s pensions. 
 ...

1216. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will make available the actuarial assessment used to calculate annuity value in the case of reduced payment of disability pension to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10079/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The actuarial assessment in this case was received in February 1987 from the Actuary in the then Department of the Public Service. The assessment stated that the annuity value of £2,873/€3,648 was based on the conversion of a capital sum of £29,500/€37,457 for a 24 year male, a 10% interest rate and the AP (90) standard mortality table. It stated that no account was taken of taxation. 
As outlined previously to the Deputy, Section 13(2) ...

1218. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence to address a matter raised in correspondence from a person (details supplied). (Question 10414/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The matter referred to concerns a request for an increase in the pensions paid to retired members of the Defence Forces. 
I am advised that up until September 2008, public service pensions, including military pensions, were generally increased in line with relevant pay increases applied to serving personnel and staff. This was commonly known as ‘pay parity’. Such pension increases normally required the prior approval of the Minister for...

362. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 131 of 21 January 2015, if due process has been accommodated in this instance, with particular reference to re-instating a decision previously quashed by the High Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12714/15 asked on 31 Mar 2015 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As outlined in my previous replies, following the relevant High Court Order a fresh examination of the case in question was undertaken and all aspects of the case, including, in particular, the representations made by the person’s solicitors, were fully considered by the then Minister for Defence. A new bona fide decision was made by the then Minister.
Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923, as amended, provides that “Any compensation which may ...

131. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 296 of 2 December 2014, the grounds on which the High Court quashed his Department’s original decision of March 1987, and it was concluded that it was not necessary to do other than carry out a review after which the original decision could be reinstated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2891/15 asked on 21 Jan 2015 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The position in this case is that judicial review proceedings were taken against the decision of the then Minister to reduce the applicant’s disability pension under Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Acts. The Minister’s decision to reduce the pension was based on him taking into consideration compensation received by the applicant under a court settlement in respect of the same injury. 
In his submissions to the High Court regarding the proceedings,...

294. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Defence the reason the monthly payment date for retired army personnel pension is being changed from the 20th of each month to the 30th over a five month period; and if he has given consideration to the affect this will have on bank transaction dates such as mortgage repayments and/or other direct debit payments and considering the age profile of many of these pensioners the paperwork and stress involved in changing these payment dates. (Question 43152/13 asked on 15 Oct 2013 - Defence Forces Pension Provisions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am advised that historically, Defence Forces pensions were paid at the end of each month in arrears and this is currently the case for those who have retired since March 2012. Payment of the pension ten days in advance on the 20th of the month was introduced some years ago to overcome banking and payroll operational restrictions. However, as a result of technology and business process improvements these restrictions no longer apply. There are underly...

765. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Defence if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is eligible for a UN disability pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27465/13 asked on 11 Jun 2013 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The person in question left the Defence Forces at his own request in May 1988. On leaving, he was granted a short-service gratuity under the Defence Forces Pensions Schemes in respect of his military service. He applied for and was subsequently granted a disability pension under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of various injuries he sustained in a road traffic accident while on United Nations duty in Lebanon in June 1984. His disability pension, ...