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Pension Provisions.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 February 2009

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Questions (21, 22)

Catherine Byrne

Question:

110 Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the date the long-term pension framework will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3246/09]

View answer

Sean Sherlock

Question:

162 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs her target date for completion of the White Paper on Pensions. [3224/09]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 and 162 together.

As the House is aware, the Green Paper on pensions was published in October 2007 and this was followed by a lengthy consultation process which concluded at the end of May 2008. The consultation was very successful as it showed that there is a great demand for pensions reform. Unfortunately, there was little consensus on the type of reform required. The views expressed ranged from a continuation of the existing voluntary arrangement to a State run earnings-related pension system operated through the PRSI system.

The Government is faced with very difficult decisions in this area. A good pensions system is costly no matter how it is organised. The challenge faced by Government is to strike the appropriate balance between those involved, including employers, people in employment and the State.

Recent market difficulties have also highlighted issues in relation to security of pensions and this must also be considered in the development of our long-term approach.

Our objective must be a pension system which will deliver an adequate retirement income for all which is, at the same time affordable and sustainable for the State, and those who sponsor and provide occupational pensions systems.

It had been hoped to finalise our approach on all aspects of the pensions system by the end of 2008 but this did not prove possible. Discussions with my Government colleagues on the final framework are on-going, and I expect that the framework will be ready for publication shortly.

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