Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (98)

Michael Ring


95 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Finance if he will enter into discussions with the INTO on the proposed changes to pension terms for new entrants to the public service, in particular with regard to the proposed retirement age for teachers. [2663/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I understand 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 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 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, and that the process includes the INTO. There are a number of issues in relation to implementation which these discussions can clarify.

The Government has decided that the changes in relation to pension age for new entrants will be implemented. Accordingly, discussions on this are not appropriate. A Bill to provide for the necessary legislative changes is included in the Government's legislative programme for this session of the Dáil.