Superannuation Schemes applicable to academic staffs in many universities, including the Colleges of the National University and Trinity College, make provision for the granting of pensions to widows of deceased members of the staff. The Act of 1940 establishing the Institute for Advanced Studies did not, however, authorise the Institute to prepare a superannuation scheme which would contain a provision for the granting of pensions to widows of deceased members of the staff of the Institute. Section 19 (1) of that Act dealing with the question of superannuation is as follows:—
It shall be the duty of the Council, as soon as conveniently may be after the passing of this Act, to prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme for the granting of pensions, gratuities, or other allowances on retirement to such Senior Professors and permanent whole-time members of the academic staff of the several Constituent Schools and to such permanent whole-time officers of the Institute as the Council, with the approval of the Minister and the concurrence of the Minister for Finance may determine.
A superannuation scheme in accordance with these provisions was prepared by the Council and has been in operation since 1947. The absence of a provision for the award of a pension to widows has been felt as a serious defect, however, and the Institute has experienced difficulty in competition with other institutions of higher learning in attracting members to its staff because of this lack of comparable financial protection for their families. In this way desirable mobility of staff between the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and other institutions of higher learning could be significantly restricted.
I have considered representations from the Institute that paragraph 19 (3) of the Institute of Advanced Studies Act, 1940, should be so amended as to allow the Council of the Institute to prepare an appropriate scheme for the award of pensions to widows of deceased members of the academic staff. Having carefully considered all aspects of the matter and the terms of the draft superannuation scheme proposed by the Institute, I am satisfied that there is a clear case for amending the Act as suggested and I, accordingly, recommend for adoption by the Seanad the present Bill entitled the Institute for Advanced Studies (Amendment) Bill, 1966, which has passed all its Stages in the Dáil.
The main conditions of the superannuation scheme which the Council of the Institute would prepare, in accordance with the authority which the enactment of this Bill would give it, are as follows:
(a) a contribution towards the cost of pensions for widows would be made by male members of the academic staff in pensionable posts. The amount of this contribution would be 1? per cent of salary per annum in the case of a junior member of the staff, 1¾ per cent in the case of the ordinary professor and 2 per cent in the case of the senior professor;
(b) to be eligible for a pension under the scheme a widow must have been married to the contributor before he retired from the Institute's service;
(c) the amount of the pension would be ? of the pension payable to the husband, if at the date of his death he were already in receipt of a pension from the Institute, or ? of the pension which would have been payable to him had he retired on pension on the grounds of ill-health at the date of his death while in the service of the Institute;
(d) payment of the pension would cease on the death or re-marriage of the recipient;
(e) a pension would not be payable unless at least 10 years' contributions had been paid by or in respect of the contributor.