Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (117)

Michael Ring

Question:

114 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will enter into discussions with the INTO in relation to the proposed changes to pension terms for new entrants to the public service, in particular with regard to the proposed retirement age for teachers. [2662/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

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, including teachers, 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, the Minister for Finance stated that the public service unions would be fully informed about the implementation of the reforms in advance of their introduction with effect from 1 April 2004. I can confirm that the process of informing the public service unions has commenced.

Since the Government has already taken its decision in relation to these changes affecting new entrants, the issue of negotiation does not arise. I must emphasise that the minimum pension age for existing public servants is not in any way affected by the Government decision.