Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (19)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

19. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason his Department declined to participate in the review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform carried out in 2017 on the retirement ages of public servants; his plans to commence a review of the retirement ages of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24564/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Permanent Defence Force was not included in the review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform carried out in 2017, in relation to the retirement ages of Public Servants. It was agreed with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that the retirement age for members of the uniformed fast accrual group, which included members of the Permanent Defence Force along with the Garda, Firefighters and Prison Officers, was best dealt with at sectoral level. The detailed policy, operational and manpower issues relevant to these groups could be appropriately considered at that level.

Accordingly, the members of the uniformed fast accrual group, who are currently required to retire early due to the nature of their work, were not covered by the increase in compulsory retirement age from 65 to 70 for Public Servants recruited before 1 April 2004.

A claim to increase the mandatory retirement age for all Officers was subsequently received from the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO) under the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) Scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Deputy will appreciate that as discussions under the C&A Scheme are confidential to the parties involved it would not be appropriate for me to comment in detail on the matter at this time.

The White Paper on Defence (2015) contains a commitment to conduct, in the medium term, a review of HR policies which includes retirement policies, alongside appropriate age profiles for personnel across the Defence Forces. A review of mandatory retirement ages in the Defence Forces will be undertaken in accordance with agreed priorities.