Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (163)

John McGuinness


163. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a resolution to the pension entitlements of a person (details supplied) who served in the Defence Forces and the HSE will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44423/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I have been advised that the individual in this case had previous pensionable service in the pension scheme of the Permanent Defence Forces, as well as in the health service. Accordingly, their pension entitlements are subject to Section 52 subsections (6) and (7) of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012. These subsections impose a limit on the total amount of pensionable service which can be taken into account when calculating a public servant’s pension entitlements where an individual has been a member of more than one public service pension scheme.

In line with the current interim guidance of my Department, this individual’s pension benefits were calculated and paid based on service in the HSE up until 28 July 2012. This was based on the fact that if the individual had total service greater than 40 years across all schemes at that point, the Act provides under Section 52(7) that they are entitled to receive that higher entitlement.

As a result of a number of issues that have arisen in relation to the Section 52 benefit cap, my Department has carried out a review into the operation of the provision. As part of the review, further legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General has been sought. Once that advice has been received, new/revised guidance will be developed and issued as appropriate. At that stage, the HSE will be in a position to consider the implications of the guidance for the pension entitlements of the individual in this case, and to communicate with the individual accordingly.