Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (124)

Michael Healy-Rae


124. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason for the refusal of a supplementary pension for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11692/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Pensions for established civil servants who are not members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme (SPSPS) were provided for under Section 2 of the Superannuation Act 1859 (as amended by section 2 of the Superannuation Act 1909). The Act provides for payment of an annual pension equivalent to one eightieth of salary for each year of service capped at forty years’ service.

In 1995, the Government decided that full social welfare cover should be extended to all newly appointed civil servants and that they should pay the full Class A social insurance contribution. This change was introduced under the Social Welfare (Modifications of Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 1995 (S.I. No 77/1995) whereby, with effect from 6 April 1995, all newly recruited civil servants are subject to Class A PRSI.

The new rules were notified to civil servants under Circular 6/1995 – Revised Social Insurance Status and Conditions of Service of Certain Civil Servants.

In accordance with paragraph 3 of the Circular, and consistent with the Social Welfare Regulations, the new rules apply to persons appointed to established civil service positions on or after 6 April 1995. The revised superannuation arrangements are set out at paragraph 13, which provides that:

" ... In the case of officers covered by Class A insurance, the following arrangements will apply:

(a) no change will be made in the occupational lump sum; and

(b) the occupational pension will be calculated on the basis of 1/80th of net pensionable remuneration per year service. (Net pensionable remuneration means the amount by which pensionable remuneration exceeds twice the annual rate of social insurance old age contributory pension payable at the maximum rate to a person with no adult dependent or qualified children.) In the case of staff to whom the terms of the Superannuation (Prison Officers) Act, 1919 apply, the pension benefit for each year of service in excess of twenty will be 2/80ths of net pensionable remuneration.

Paragraph 18 of the Circular provides for payment of a supplementary pension as follows:

"18. The revised superannuation arrangements include provisions for the payment of a supplementary pension in certain circumstances to pensioners in respect of periods during which the pensioner is not employed in any capacity which involves a social insurance contribution and, due to causes outside his/her own control, fails to qualify for social insurance benefit[1] or qualifies for such benefit at less than the maximum personal rate. The supplementary pension will be equal to the difference between

(i) the occupational pension which would have been payable if it had been based on pensionable remuneration instead of net pensionable remuneration and

(ii) aggregate of the actual occupational pension payable and the actual rate of social insurance benefit payable (including any payments for dependents)."

It is understood that similar rules apply across the wider public service.

The grant of a supplementary pension under paragraph 18 of the Circular is not automatic and is conditional upon a number conditions as follows:

1. the individual must not be engaged in paid employment;

2. he or she does not qualify for social insurance benefit or fail to qualify for such benefit at the maximum rate; and

3. his or her failure to qualify must be due to causes outside his or her control.

Any queries in respect of the individual mentioned should be directed to the relevant pension paying authority.

[1] Social Welfare Benefit is defined in the Rules as State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Transition); Illness Benefit, Invalidity Pension or Jobseekers Benefit payable under the Social Welfare Acts or any equivalent contributory benefit, by whatever name called, substituted for any of those benefits in any future enactment amending the Social Welfare Acts.