Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (101)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

101. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason abatement is being applied to the public service pension of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21858/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The person in question, who retired from the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) in December 2012, is in receipt of a retirement (service) pension under the Defence Forces Superannuation Schemes, as well as a disability pension under the Army Pensions Acts. 

 In such cases, the superannuation rules provide for the partial reduction of the retirement pension.  This is known as ‘abatement’ and applies to the retirement pension regardless of the rank of the retired member.  The disability pension is payable in full.   It should be noted that there is an advantage to the pensioner in this arrangement in that the disability pension is exempt from income tax, whereas retirement pensions are taxable.

The provisions outlined are set out in legislation and are of long standing.  The underlying rationale is to limit the total amount payable by way of both pensions.  The concept or principle involved is not unique to the Defence Forces and is applied generally in the public service. 

I would like to advise that under current public service pension increase policy, both of the pensions payable to this former PDF member qualify to be increased on foot of the basic pay increases due under the terms of the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) 2018-2020.  As a post-1 March 2012 retiree, the benefit of the recent pay increases including 1% from 1 January 2018 and 1% from 1 October 2018 under the PSSA are currently being prepared and will shortly be passed on (with arrears) to the person in question.

I am satisfied that the pension entitlements in this case have been calculated in accordance with the relevant rules of the superannuation scheme as set out in the legislation.