The pension entitlements of former members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) are governed by the Defence Forces Pensions Schemes. In general, the minimum service required by a non-commissioned officer or private of the PDF who enlisted prior to 1 April 2004, to qualify for a pension is 21 years, or 12 years if discharged on medical grounds. I am advised that the individual in this case was discharged from the Defence Forces in 1994, at his own request, after 13 years’ service. As he had less than the required minimum service, he was not eligible for a pension under the rules of the Schemes. He was however paid a 'short service' gratuity, in accordance with the relevant rules.
Service in the FCA (Reserve Defence Force) prior to 1974 is not reckonable for pension purposes. After 1974 there is provision for service on full-time security duties in the FCA to be reckoned for pension purposes, subject to fulfilling certain conditions.
In relation to the request to amalgamate service in the PDF with service in the Department of Justice and Equality the position is that there is a Public Sector Transfer Network of which both this Department and the Department of Justice and Equality are members. This Network allows for the transfer of service for pension purposes, subject to certain conditions.
My Department has been in contact with the Department of Justice and Equality regarding the case of the individual referred to. Unfortunately, based on the preliminary information obtained to date, it would appear that this case does not satisfy the required conditions. My Department is however examining all matters, including the possibility of full time service in the FCA, in more detail and will be writing to the individual concerned in the near future to set out the position.