The staff of my Department comprises of civil servants and civilian employees. The early retirement options available to the staff of my Department are the Ill Health Retirement Scheme and the Cost Neutral Early Retirement Scheme. An employee with an on-going serious medical condition who has at least five years’ pensionable service may apply to retire on grounds of ill-health. Ill health retirement applications are considered initially by the Chief Medical Officer, who on receipt of an application from an officer, offers a medical opinion as to whether an individual is incapable on medical grounds of regular and effective service at the time of the application and whether the medical incapacity is likely to be permanent. Four applications for ill health retirement have been approved to date this year. A further three applications are on hand.
The Cost Neutral Early Retirement Scheme allows staff to retire before the normal retirement age but to have an off-setting actuarial reduction applied to their retirement benefits. There are currently no applications on hand under the Scheme.
Following the receipt of sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department has recently introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme targeted towards civilian employees (State Industrial Grades) arising from the rationalisation of the brigade structure in the Defence Forces and the reduced requirement for particular grades/skills in the civilian workforce. There are currently no applications on hand under the Scheme. It is not possible at this stage to predict the number of employees that will avail of this particular redundancy scheme between now and 2014.