Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Questions (615)

Mary Butler

Question:

615. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will address matters raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50648/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I assume the Deputy’s Question is referring to the Pensions Commission’s recommendations in relation to increasing Social Insurance Fund (SIF) income.   

The Pensions Commission was established in November 2020 to examine the sustainability of the State Pension system and the Social Insurance Fund, in fulfilment of a Programme for Government commitment.  The Commission was an independent body comprised of knowledgeable and experienced academics, pension experts, members of civil society and representatives of workers and employers. 

The Commission has completed it work and its report was published on the 7th October 2021.  The Commission’s Report has unambiguously established that the current State Pension system is not sustainable into the future and that change is needed.  It is a very comprehensive and detailed report that takes account of responses to a very extensive consultation process.  The report sets out a wide range of recommendations, including measures to increase Social Insurance Fund (SIF) income.    

In the interests both of older people and of future generations of older people, the Government intends to consider the comprehensive and far reaching recommendations in the Commission’s Report very carefully.    The report has been referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection and the Commission for Taxation and Welfare for their views.   I will also work with my officials over the coming months to examine each of the recommendations carefully and will consult with colleagues in Government through the Cabinet Committee system.  I intend to bring a recommended response and implementation plan to Government by the end of March 2022.  I think it is really important that we complete that work before reaching conclusions.

The State Pension is the bedrock of the pension system in Ireland.  It is extremely effective at ensuring that our pensioners do not experience poverty.   This Government is committed to ensuring that this remains the case for current pensioners, those nearing State Pension age and today’s young workers including those who are only starting their careers. 

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.