Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (186)

James Browne

Ceist:

186. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if consideration will be given to matching Garda pension rates to social welfare payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I understand the question relates to whether I would consider giving approval to passing on to Garda pensions the same rate of pension increases as are granted to the State Pension.

The Deputy will appreciate that my responsibility extends to the civil and public service occupational pension schemes. The Social Welfare State pension is separate to occupational pension benefits, and falls under the remit of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

However, I would advise the Deputy that the Government have approved a pension increase policy for the period to end-2020 as part of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 (PSSA), to apply to pre-existing public service pension schemes, including the Garda Síochána Superannuation Scheme. The principle of pay parity underlies this pension increase policy. This means that the pay increases agreed as part of the PSSA and legislated for in the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, are passed on to pension recipients to bring the salary on which their pension is based up to the current salary rate of those still serving, after the pay increases have been applied to serving staff. Pension recipients qualify to receive an increase if the salary on which their pension is based is lower than the current salary rate of those still serving in the same grade and on the same scale point.

If the Deputy has any questions regarding the detailed application of the pension increase policy to Garda pensions, he should address the query to my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.