Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (48)

Tom Fleming


48 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 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 that 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. [33080/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

One official who retired from my Department on 29 February 2012 has been temporarily re-engaged in order to assist with the Department's activities in the lead-up to and during Ireland's Presidency of the EU from January to June 2013. The contract of employment in this case provides for attendance on a part-time basis from 1 May until 31 July 2012 and on a fulltime basis from 1 September 2012 until 30 June 2013 when it will be terminated. This officer was re-engaged on a pension abatement basis which means in effect that he continues to receive his pension and is paid a correspondingly reduced salary by the Department. The policy of my Department regarding the re-hiring of retired officials is to do so to the minimum extent possible. However, for certain once-off or short-duration projects it is more productive and cost-effective to re-hire retired staff who already have the relevant expertise and experience than to go through a time-consuming and relatively expensive recruitment, induction and training process. This temporary recruitment arrangement is in line with a Government Decision of 16 December 2011 relating to Presidency matters, including staffing arrangements.