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State Pensions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (96)

Marc Ó Cathasaigh

Ceist:

96. Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the work her Department has undertaken towards a proposed benchmarking system for pension rates to be benchmarked to salaries and inflation, as outlined as an income smoothing proposal in the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025 in order to provide income security for older persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57600/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020 - 2025 aims to reduce the number of people in consistent poverty in Ireland to 2% or less, and to position Ireland within the top five countries in the EU under a number of leading social inclusion measures. The Roadmap includes a specific goal to protect the incomes of older people through the delivery of the commitment to benchmark State pension payments, which was outlined in the Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018 – 2023.

The Roadmap for Social Inclusion outlines the potential approach currently under consideration. This approach uses what can be described as a smoothed earnings system which would ensure that, over the long-term, the relative value of state pensions compared to market earnings would be maintained and that, over any short-term period, the real value, or purchasing power, of these payments would be protected.

While good progress has been made, I have asked my officials to continue to engage with their counterparts in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the issue of indexation of State pensions with a view to progressing this work in the coming months.

The Pensions Commission report, which is currently being considered by Government, also examined the issue of benchmarking pension rates and has endorsed the smoothed earnings approach.

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