Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Nurses' Pensions.

7.

asked the Minister for Health if he will state in relation to the adjustment of pensions (1) whether nurses who retired from voluntary hospitals prior to 1st January, 1969, will have their pensions revised so that they will be based on full service in cases where pensions were based on half their service; and (2) where nurses were given credit on retirement for only half their temporary service if this will now be adjusted so that they can have pension based on full service including continuous temporary service preceding permanent service.

Ex-gratia pension benefits, based on one-half of actual service, were granted to nurses who retired from voluntary hospital service prior to 1st January, 1969. This was a generous provision in respect of service for which no superannuation commitment existed and during which no pension contributions were paid and it is not proposed to revise the method of calculating such pensions.

In calculating credit for service given before the introduction of the scheme, allowance was made generally for all such service. Service given subsequent to the commencement of the scheme in a specifically temporary capacity cannot be reckoned as the scheme stands, but an amendment which would afford the same advantages as are available in the local service is under consideration.

Public servants have now obtained parity and, indeed, not before time, but who gives more service than the nurses? Why cannot they be considered as public servants too?

If the Deputy will read the full superannuation scheme she will understand that in relation to nurses in a temporary capacity an amendment is now being considered which will afford them the same advantages as those who have given temporary service since the coming into operation of the scheme. That is under consideration.

When will it be considered?

I think it is being negotiated now.

Can the Minister say when it will be implemented?

I would say that it will not be too long.