Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (339, 340)

Mary Upton


425 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W is entitled to a non-contributory old age pension. [6534/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

My Department has no record of an application from the person concerned for an old age non-contributory pension. If he considers he might be entitled to a pension, he should submit a completed application form to the Department as soon as possible, to enable his means and other relevant circumstances to be determined. An application form is being sent to him for this purpose.

Paul Kehoe


426 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if an employer can insist that an employee take out an occupational pension if he has already taken out a private pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6549/04]

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A compulsory requirement to enter an occupational pension scheme, where it exists, would be reflected in the terms of a person's employment contract. The terms of such contracts are a matter between the employer and the employee employment contracts are governed by employment law, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The specific question relates to whether the employer can still insist that an employee join the pension scheme where the employee has already taken out a private pension. That is equally a matter for the specific employment contract. In such situations, if the employee is required to join the employer's scheme, he or she may or may not be able to avail of tax relief on contributions to the private pension, depending on the circumstances of the case.

It should be noted that there will always be an employer contribution to an occupational pension scheme; whereas this may not be the case with a personal pension.