Written Answers. - Garda Pay.

Ruairí Quinn


870 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the Government intends to review its decision on the pensionability of certain unsocial hours allowances; if the Government is prepared to extend to members of An Garda Síochána who retired before 1 January 1993 the increased pension provision which subsequent retirees received; and if he will make a statement on the matter in view of the fact that it applies to approximately 1,700 former gardaí who retired prior to 1 January 1993. [19417/00]

Following prolonged discussions at the Garda Conciliation Council, agreement was reached in March 1994, which provided, inter alia, for the pensionability of unsocial hours allowances for members of the force who retired after 1 January 1993. The agreement was reached under the terms of the local bargaining clause – clause 3 – of the agreement on pay and conditions which formed part of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress. The agreement does not allow for retrospection.

In November 1997, the Government decided that public servants who retired before the commencement dates of restructuring pay deals under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work should benefit from those pay deals on a parity basis subject to a minimum adjustment of 3% in their pensions – or 2% in the case of those pensioners who have already received an advance payment of 1%.

The Government has considered the issue of pension increases for public servants on several occasions since coming into office and, in order to help in its deliberations, referred the matter to the Commission on Public Service Pensions.
The report of the Commission on Public Service Pensions is expected to be published shortly. The Programme for Prosperity and Fairness states that following Government consideration of the report, a working group of the public service unions, relevant Departments and other appropriate parties will be established to advise on the implementation of the relevant Government decision with a view to introducing, as quickly as possible, any proposed changes in public service pension arrangements.