Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (30)

James Lawless

Ceist:

30. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Defence the outcome of the review of mandatory retirement ages for commissioned officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29133/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Report of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) on Recruitment and Retention in the Defence Forces was published on the 4th of July 2019. The Report was accepted in full by the Government at that time and, to facilitate implementation, an extensive High Level Plan titled "Strengthening our Defence Forces – Phase One” was also agreed and published on the same date.

The High Level Plan provides for actions or projects to be undertaken to deliver on the PSPC recommendations. It also proposes a timeframe for actions or projects to commence and identifies the lead actor to implement the action or project. The timeframe for commencement of actions is split into four distinct timelines i.e. immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term.

The project to consider options to tackle barriers to extended participation in the PDF (including the possibility of extending retirement ages for members of the PDF) was identified as a medium term project being jointly led by my Department and the Defence Forces.

After initial research, it was agreed that this project was to be divided into two phases. The first phase, focusing on reviewing mandatory retirement ages for Officers and the second phase to review contracts of service for enlisted personnel. It was agreed with PDFORRA that enlisted privates and corporals who had reached 21 years’ service, could remain in service until they reach age 50 until the end 2022. Sergeants are also permitted to serve beyond 50 until that timeframe. These measures mean that the review could take place in an extended timeframe.

The first phase of this project, reviewing mandatory retirement ages for Officers is nearing finalisation. Work on the second phase, examining contracts of service for enlisted personnel has commenced.

Question No. 31 answered with Question No. 21.