The Roadmap for Pensions Reform, published last year, commits the Government to examine and develop proposals to set a formal benchmark target of average earnings for the state pension (contributory), and to institute a process whereby future changes in state pension rates of payment are explicitly linked to changes in consumer prices and average wages.
My Department is currently considering options to implement this commitment, by examining previous studies on benchmarking and indexation, international experience and examination of a range of potential benchmarks and indices.
Private and personal pensions are a matter for the individuals concerned, and their benefits are generally a direct result of the return on investments made by the pension fund concerned, rather than decisions made by the Government in the context of the annual Budget. My Department has no role in setting the rates at which such pensions are paid.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.