Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (219)

Richard Bruton

Question:

335 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance his plans to open negotiations with the representatives of employees in the public service who are affected by the new proposals for pension entitlements of new entrants; when these negotiations will commence; the procedures for arbitration which will be used in the event of issues being unresolved in the course of direct negotiation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1855/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the announcement in budget 2004 of the Government decision that the minimum pension age should be increased to 65 years for most new entrants to the public service from 1 April 2004.

In announcing the Government's decision on pension age, and also on the intended abolition of compulsory retirement age for most new entrant public servants from 1 April 2004, I stated that the public service unions would be fully informed about the implementation of these particular changes in advance of their introduction with effect from 1 April 2004. I can confirm to the Deputy that this process of information provision has commenced.

Given that the Government has already taken its decision in relation to these changes affecting new entrants, the issues of negotiation and arbitration do not arise.