Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (75)

Bernard Durkan


75. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 47 of 19 September 2019, if discretion to reduce the pension of certain members of the Defence Forces rests finally with his Department or the Judiciary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42900/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Section 13(2) of the 1923 Army Pensions Act (as amended) provides that in the case of a former member of the Permanent Defence Force, compensation received in respect of a disablement may be taken into consideration by the Minister for Defence in fixing the rate of disability pension or gratuity payable under the Army Pensions Acts for that disablement.  It also provides that a disability pension already in payment may be reviewed in the light of compensation received and may be either terminated or reduced.  The underlying rationale of section 13(2) is to prevent compensation "on the double".

The discretion to terminate or reduce a pension under Section 13(2) is a statutory power conferred on the Minister for Defence under the Act. 

In exercising his statutory function, the Minister makes a bona fide individual decision on the merits of each case following consideration of the particular circumstances.  In this regard, representations are invited from the individual regarding, in particular, the person's circumstances, details of the compensation actually received, and whether there are any special or extenuating circumstances involved.  All representations received are considered by the Minister before a decision is made.