Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (69, 70, 71)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

69. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the criteria and procedures required to be met by the employer and the employee in order for an employee to retire under the Civil Service occupational pension scheme grounds of ill health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23754/14]

View answer

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

70. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the employees of the State that have retired on ill-health grounds under the Civil Service occupational pension scheme for each of the past ten years and the Departments from which they retired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23773/14]

View answer

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

71. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will set out the manner in which the State exercises its discretion to allow employees to retire on ill-health grounds under the Civil Service occupational pension scheme and the rationale for same and to set out any change in policy during the past ten years and the reason the issue of added years service of employment deemed in the case of retirement on ill-health grounds is not put on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23780/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 to 71, inclusive, together.

The provisions relating to ill-health retirement are set out in statute in the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956, as amended, and the associated Circular 22/07: Ill-Health Retirement from the Civil Service.  The provisions relating to ill-health retirement pensions are set out in the Superannuation Acts and related instruments including, in particular, the Civil Service Superannuation Regulations 1980, S.I. 188/1980. The criteria and procedures required for an employee to retire on grounds of ill-health are set out in Circular 22/2007: Ill-Health Retirement from the Civil Service.  This Circular sets out the procedures to be followed in a case of ill-health retirement, either on the initiative of the civil servant or of the Department/Office.

Where a civil servant applies to retire early on the grounds of ill-health he or she must provide the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) with a completed Ill-Health Retirement form along with a medical report detailing his/her diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Section 9 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 provides for retirement on grounds of ill-health in circumstances where the civil servant has not tendered his/her resignation.  Where a Department/Office seeks to compulsorily ill-health retire a civil servant, the appropriate authority should refer the matter to the CMO.  The CMO will arrange for the civil servant to be medically examined and may also arrange for an outside specialist opinion if the CMO feels that this would be of benefit. If the CMO is of the opinion that the civil servant is incapable on medical grounds of regular and effective service and that the situation is likely to be permanent, then the CMO will sign the relevant part of the Ill-Health Retirement form and return the form to the civil servant's Department/Office.

In all cases, the final decision on whether or not a civil servant is granted ill-health retirement, lies with the relevant appropriate authority having received the advice of the CMO.  This allows management discretion to consider both medical and non-medical matters. A civil servant whose application for ill-health retirement has been refused, may request that his or her case be referred on appeal to a medical referee.

Circular 22/07 replaced a previous circular (Circular 7/57: Retirement from the Civil Service on the ground of ill-health) to take account of an amendment made by the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Act 2005 to the Civil Service Regulation Act 1957.  The 2005 Act amended the definition of "appropriate authority" under the 1957 Act to streamline management procedures by allowing the heads of Civil Service Departments and Offices to manage middle-ranking and junior staff without reference to Ministers or Government. Where an officer retires on the grounds of ill health notional service may, at the discretion of the Minister, be added to his/her actual service for the purposes of calculating retirement lump sum and personal pension.

Initially the provision for "added years" was provided for on an administrative basis during the 1970s as a result of General Agreements. The provision of added years' service was put on a statutory basis in 1980 (Civil Service Superannuation Regulations 1980, S.I. 188/1980).  There has been no change in the past ten years in pension policy in respect of added years for ill health benefits.

The following table provides details of the number of ill health retirements in each Department /Office in Civil Service over the past 10 years.

Department

Number of Retirees

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Agriculture, Food & Rural Development / Agriculture, Food and the Marine

67

4

6

4

3

5

14

8

6

8

6

3

Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

1

1

Arts, Sports & Tourism

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Attorney General

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Central Statistics Office

29

2

1

2

6

3

3

2

3

2

3

2

Chief State Solicitor/Dpp

7

-

-

1

1

2

-

-

-

2

-

1

Children & Youth Affairs

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

Civil Service Commission

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Communication,Marine & Natural Resources /Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

18

2

4

3

1

1

3

2

1

1

-

-

Community,Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs 

1

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Comptroller & Auditor General

2

-

-

1

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

Courts

19

2

-

-

6

2

2

1

3

1

2

-

Defence & European Affairs /Defence

13

-

1

2

-

1

4

-

2

1

1

1

Education & Skills / Education & Science

27

1

1

4

2

6

4

-

4

5

-

-

Enterprise, Trade & Employment / Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

21

1

3

2

3

-

4

1

2

4

1

-

Environment, Heritage & Local Government

19

-

2

2

3

1

4

3

-

2

-

2

Finance

19

2

3

1

1

3

1

2

3

1

1

1

Foreign Affairs / Trade

24

2

-

3

2

1

5

3

3

3

2

-

Health & Children / Health

18

1

1

3

4

-

3

-

2

1

1

2

Justice, Equality & Law Reform

56

-

2

6

4

5

7

4

9

8

7

4

Land Registry/Property Registration Authority

20

2

-

4

4

3

3

4

-

-

-

-

Legal Aid Board

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

-

National Gallery

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Office Of Public Works

20

1

1

3

6

 

3

2

1

1

1

1

Oireachtas

10

1

-

-

1

1

1

-

3

-

1

2

Ombudsmans Office

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

Prisons

158

22

33

13

23

9

21

8

11

6

8

4

Public Expenditure & Reform

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

-

Public Appointments Service

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

Revenue

155

14

14

15

13

18

16

15

17

22

6

5

Social Protection / Social & Family Affairs

144

7

1

12

14

22

15

11

14

22

19

7

State Examination Commission (D.Educ)

5

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

1

1

1

State Laboratory

4

1

-

1

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

-

Taoiseach

4

1

1

-

-

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

Transport, Tourism & Sport

25

-

1

1

2

5

4

2

4

2

2

2

Valuation Office

3

-

-

-

-

1

2

-

-

-

-

-

TOTAL

903

69

77

83

100

91

121

69

91

97

66

39