I propose to take Questions Nos. 250 to 252, inclusive, and 254 and 255 together.
In 2008, retained fire-fighters were given the option of joining the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS) and receive a pension and retirement lump sum based on their pensionable remuneration and length of service. Retained fire-fighters who opted not to join the scheme receive, on retirement, a gratuity of 1/8th of the annual retainer multiplied by the number of years of actual service (up to a maximum of four times the annual retainer). All retained fire-fighters appointed after 1 January 2013 must join the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.
The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 states that any public servant who is a member of a public service pension scheme, is entitled to a benefit under such a scheme, or receives a payment in lieu of membership of such a scheme, is subject to Pension Related Deduction (PRD) from their remuneration. Additional pension benefits do not arise as a result of this deduction.
In the case of a local authority worker who is also a member of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme, PRD contributions are payable in respect of the pay applicable to that employment also, on the basis that such a person qualifies for the payment of a pension and lump sum as a member of the LGSS.
The payment of the retirement gratuity to retained firefighters who are not members of the LGSS is a payment in lieu of membership of a pension scheme and, as such, all retained fire-fighters, whether members of a public service pension scheme or not, are subject to the deduction outlined in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009. Responsibility for this legislation rests with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.