Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (194)

Jack Chambers


194. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of pension restoration measures for civil and public servants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35614/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I understand that when the Deputy refers to pension restoration, he is referring to the amelioration or reversal of the public service pension reduction (PSPR), the progressive reduction affecting certain public service pensions above specified amounts which was introduced on 1 January 2011 as part of the Government’s response to the financial emergency.  The Financial Emergency Measures in Public Interests (FEMPI) Act 2015 and the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 substantially lessened the impact of PSPR, by way of changes which have occurred or are due to occur on 1 January in each of the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. These changes mean that, as of 1 January 2018, most public service pensions are not subject to PSPR.

The Deputy will appreciate that while I exercise a policy role over public service pensions, my responsibility with regard to implementation relates to civil service pensions. The National Shared Services Office, who pay civil service pensions and some public service pensions, has informed me that the implementation of the PSPR reversal to these pensions is ongoing. It has been delayed to an extent, primarily due to impaired data that has prevented automatic processing. A dedicated project team continues to work full time reviewing each file for every pension potentially impacted, to correct any data inaccuracies in their records and ensure all arrears due are paid as soon as possible. The status at end of August 2019 was that in excess of 95% of the PSPR reversals due before 2019 have been applied, and over 90% of the PSPR reversals due in 2019 have been applied. Work continues on the remaining outstanding cases

In relation to specific public service pensions, I would advise the Deputy to contact the relevant Minister responsible for the administration of such schemes.