73. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at the National Asset Management Agency pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009. (Question 50601/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has no employees. Rather, under Section 42 of the NAMA Act 2009, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) assigns staff to NAMA. The public service pension deduction is applied to all NTMA employees.
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74. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, in which he is the sole shareholder of 100% of the shares, pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009; and if no such levy is paid to provide an explanation for this position. (Question 50602/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 78, inclusive, together. 
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective ...

75. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at Permanent TSB, in which he is the shareholder of 99.5% of the shares, pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009; and if no such levy is paid to provide an explanation for this position. (Question 50603/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 78, inclusive, together. 
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective ...

76. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at Irish Life, in which he is the sole shareholder of 100% of the shares, pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009; and if no such levy is paid to provide an explanation for this position. (Question 50604/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 78, inclusive, together. 
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective ...

77. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at Allied Irish Banks including the Educational Building Society, in which he is the shareholder of 99.8% of the shares, pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009; and if no such levy is paid to provide an explanation for this position. (Question 50605/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 78, inclusive, together. 
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective ...

78. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if employees at the Bank of Ireland, in which he is the share holder of 15% of the ordinary shares and controls preference shares estimated to be worth €1.493 billion, pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009; and if no such levy is paid to provide an explanation for this position. (Question 50606/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 78, inclusive, together. 
The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective ...

79. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide in tabular form the estimated annual receipts to the Exchequer which would arise if employees in the following organizations were required to pay a pension levy in accordance with the announcement of the previous administration on 3 February 2009: Allied Irish Banks incorporating the Educational Building Society, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Irish Life and Bank of Ireland. (Question 50607/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is known as the pension levy. This was a savings measure introduced in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009, brought in by the Exchequer to reduce the costs of pensions to the State. It only applies to people belonging to public service pension schemes and does not apply to semi-states or the private sector. Irrespective of the Minister’s shareholdings in each of the covered institution...

112. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the steps she will take in response to the finding contained in her Department’s report on pension charges that the private pensions industry is taking up to a third of the value of persons’ retirement savings in charges. (Question 49831/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Report on Pension Charges 2012 was undertaken by my Department with support from the Central Bank and Pensions Board. The primary objective of the report was to gather information on the level of pension charges levied, to assess whether these charges are reasonable and transparent, to report on the findings and to make recommendations. The report highlights a wide range of issues in relation to pension charges and identifies a number o...

185. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 207 of 16 October 2012, if legislation or new procedures are in place to ensure adequate monitoring and early action by the Central Bank of Ireland to prevent in the future the losses which occurred in the case of Custom House Capital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49405/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Central Bank that since becoming aware of information relating to client investments and having substantiated its concerns, it ensured that Custom House Capital Limited advised affected clients and reviewed the information that was provided. The Central Bank has further advised that in July 2011, it received information, which increased its concerns regarding the integrity of client investments managed by Custom House Capital Li...

187. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons in receipt of pensions from the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation which are in excess of €100,000; the names of those who are in receipt of the pensions and the sums they receive on an annual basis. (Question 49416/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I have been advised by IBRC that the number of retired employees currently in receipt of a defined benefit pension from the former Anglo Irish Bank and INBS in excess of €100,000 is 8. Due to the Bank’s obligations under Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 the names of these individuals and the annual sums they receive cannot be disclosed. 
It should be noted that all bar 1.5% of current IBRC employees are on a defined contribution pension or no p...

205. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance in respect of the €1.1billion top-up made by Allied Irish Banks to that Bank’s group pension scheme in August 2012, set out the contact or contacts the Bank had with him or his Department regarding to the transaction, specifically the date and nature of the contact or contacts. (Question 49491/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Deputy will be aware that a Relationship Framework was specified and published in March 2012. This document defines the nature of the relationship and interaction between the Minister for Finance and AIB. I can confirm to the Deputy that as the asset transfer to AIB’s pension scheme was required to fund the Bank’s Early Retirement and Voluntary Severance Programme, the Department of Finance was consulted on numerous occasions during 2012 in rela...

206. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance in respect of the €1.1 billion top-up made by Allied Irish Banks to the group pension scheme in August 2012, if he provided approval for this transaction in a bank in which he owns 99.8% of the shares; and if so, the date of the provision of any such approval. (Question 49492/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): AIB has confirmed to me that the transfer of €1.1bn (nominal) loan assets to the AIB Defined Benefit Pension Scheme was approved by the AIB Board and the Bank’s Deleveraging Committee whose members include the Department of Finance and the Central Bank in observatory capacities. The Deleveraging Committee, of which Department of Finance acts in an observatory capacity only, approved the transaction on 27 March 2012.
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207. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance in respect of the €1.1 billion top-up made by Allied Irish Banks to the group pension scheme in August 2012, if he will identify in the stress testing undertaken by the Central Bank of Ireland with Barclays Capital, BlackRock and the Boston Consulting Group in early 2011 which resulted in the publication of the financial measures programme on 31 March 2011 where in this work was the €1.1 billion shortfall in the AIB pension fund examined or identified. (Question 49493/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Central Bank has informed me that the Capital Requirements Directive and the Central Bank set the rules around the calculation of the applicable capital base for credit institutions. These rules include reference to defined benefit pension deficits as these can affect the capital base of regulated entities. In a letter from the Financial Regulator to industry in 2005, banks were informed that those applying IAS 19/FRS 17 are allowed to add bac...

208. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance in respect of the €1.1billion top-up made by Allied Irish Banks to the group pension scheme in August 2012, if he will estimate the capital value needed by a pension fund in order to make an annual payment of €529,000 to a scheme member, as is reportedly the case with annual payments to the former chief executive officer of AIB, Mr Eugene Sheehy. (Question 49494/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Deputy will be aware that the transfer of assets to the pension fund earlier this year was undertaken in order to facilitate the early retirement component of the voluntary severance program of the bank. Had the transfer of assets not taken place, the early retirement component of the voluntary severance could not have proceeded as it would have required a cash contribution from the bank. The voluntary severance scheme in the bank overall is expe...

253. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50655/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In reply to the Deputy’s question, there are no funded semi-state company pension schemes under the aegis of my Department.
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256. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49399/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Education and Skills(Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The person referred to by the Deputy was an employee of the Board of Management of the Limerick Model School. The Board of Management has made an application, under the terms of the Superannuation Act 1887, seeking to award the individual concerned a gratuity payment on retirement. My officials are liaising with officials of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with a view to determine the application.
A response will issue to ...

309. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50653/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): For the Deputy’s information there are no commercial semi-state companies/agencies under the aegis of my Department. Details of non-commercial agencies under the remit of my Department can be downloaded from the Department’s website.
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320. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49587/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): In response to the Deputy’s question each Department is responsible for providing pension fund details in relation to commercial semi State companies for which they hold responsibility.
In relation to An Post National Lottery Company which comes under the aegis of my Department I wish to inform the Deputy that pay and pensions issues are a matter for An Post. The information requested regarding the pension fund would therefore b...

410. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the total number of recipients of non-contributory old age pension; the degree, if any, to which this number has fluctuated in the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50138/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The information requested by the Deputy is in the tabular statement. The number of recipients of State Pension (Non-contributory) has been relatively stable over the period in question. 
Tabular statement
 Year Number of Recipients Percentage FluctuationYear on Year 2007 97,726 2008 97,784 0.06% 2009 97,798 0.02% 2010 97,179 -0.63% 2011 96,749 -0.44% 31 October 2012 96,339 -0.42% 
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428. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50651/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): As I have previously advised the House, there are no commercial semi-State companies under the remit of my Department. I am advised that none of the State bodies/agencies funded from my Department’s Vote Group operate pensions schemes of the kind referred to by the Deputy.
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472. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50654/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): State bodies under the aegis of my Department, with the exception of the National Building Agency, operate defined benefit pension schemes. These pension schemes are funded annually on a pay as you go basis from monies available to the State agencies, including where appropriate monies made available from my Department, and from pension contributions deducted from staff salaries. The National Building Agency pens...

518. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Defence how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50652/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): There are no semi-State companies under the aegis of the Department of Defence.
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568. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50650/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The funding of pension schemes for the State Agencies under the aegis of my Department is a matter for the Agencies themselves. 
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692. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport how well funded all semi-State company pension schemes are; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50656/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): With the exception of details in respect of the small number of staff whose pensions are being funded directly by the Exchequer, funding details for semi-State  pension schemes are available in the Annual Reports and Accounts of the relevant agencies, copies of which are normally available from the Dail Library or the relevant website. 
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96. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Finance the rate at which the pension provisions of senior managers in the banks in which the State has a stake will be taxed; and if he has considered levying a high rate of tax on these pension provisions in order to provide some measure of social equity. (Question 49158/12 asked on 08 Nov 2012 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The position is that the rates of taxation which would apply in respect of the income of any pensioner, irrespective of their previous employment, is determined by the level of the income they receive, their personal circumstances, and that individual’s entitlements to deductions, credits and reliefs. Income Tax and Universal Social Charge will be deducted at source using the existing rates and bands set out in current legislation. It is also a lon...