Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (202)

Tom Fleming

Question:

205 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of the over 9,000 persons from the public service who have retired over the past six months with high tax-free lump sum payments in many cases and substantial pensions who have been re-hired on contract; if these persons are now being paid on the double by the State, that is, their pension and the salary they are receiving under the new contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33083/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No. 2) Act 2009 provided for the superannuation benefits of public servants, who retired within a ‘grace period' which ended on 29 February 2012, to be unaffected by the pay reductions introduced for all public servants with effect from 1 January 2010 under that Act. In the period 1 January 2012 to 29 February 2012, a total of 475 staff retired from my Department and the agencies under my remit, including An Garda Síochána. Of these 475, only one staff member who was a Governor in the Prison Service has been re-employed in the Prison Service on a fixed term contract to meet pressing operational and transformation requirements. The individual's pension has been abated since the commencement of the contract. The total cost of this contract to date is €43,939.27. I am not aware of any other public servant being re-employed by my Department or agencies under its remit. I am however confirming the position and will revert to the Deputy in the event that the position is other than that stated above. It should be noted that on occasion, retired public servants may be engaged mainly on a short term basis because of their particular knowledge and expertise in a particular area, for example, to serve on interview boards, complete investigations etc. Such instances would not be considered re-employment.