Written Answers. - Nurses' Retirement Age.

Robert Molloy

Question:

60 Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce legislative changes so that any nurse may choose the option of retiring at 55 with immediate payment of appropriate pension and lump sum and that all nurses will be allowed to retire on pension at 60 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [551/94]

Robert Molloy

Question:

218 Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce legislative changes so that any nurse may choose the option of retiring at 55 with immediate payment of appropriate pension and lump sum and so that all nurses will be allowed to retire on pension at 60 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [930/94]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 218 together. The issue of early retirement has been raised by the nurses' unions within the industrial relations procedures as part of the restructuring discussions on nurses pay and conditions under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work. In addition, under the conciliation and arbitration scheme for local authorities and health board personnel, a permanent sub-committee of the national joint council representative of both management and staff sides interests, has been established recently to deal with superannuation matters. The remit of this sub-committee covers the terms of the superannuation scheme applicable to all officer grades, including nurses. Given that there is a process of negotiation involved in relation to this matter and as these discussions are at an early stage, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.