Many of our retired Gardai may be asking – what achievements has the Alliance of Retired Public Servants made in the last year to restore the pension-cuts imposed under “The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) ? Recently, a Parliamentary Question (PQ) was tabled by Mr. Jerry Buttermer TD., on the issue. The answer to his PQ below gives a clear message to us of the success of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants on this VIP matter.
Public Sector Pensions Levy
- Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if reductions in the Public Sector Pension Levy will apply equally to those who are working and those who are retired; when he anticipates that reductions in the Pension Levy will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21468/15]
Reply by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin):
The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts (FEMPI), provided for the implementation with effect from March 2009 of a Pension Related Deduction (PRD) or sometimes known as the “Pension Levy”. The PRD applies on a progressive basis to the annualised remuneration of public servants currently employed. It does not apply to retired public servants. The recently announced proposals formulated by the Labour Relations Commission in relation to the Lansdowne Road Agreement provide inter alia for a two-step increase in the exemption threshold from €15,000 per annum to €28,750 in 2016 which will give an annualised reduction in PRD liability to each public servant of up to €1,000 per annum.
The Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR), commencing 1 January 2011, applies to retired public servants and imposed reductions on annual public service pensions in payment in excess of €12,000, using a progressively tiered set of bands and rates. In relation to the impact of PSPR on the income of public service pensioners I met with representatives of retired public service pensioners in May 2013 and indicated at that time that it was my intention as a matter of priority to move towards reducing the burden of public service pension reductions, with the initial focus on the people in receipt of low pensions, at the earliest date economic progress permits. I also met with the representatives of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants in March last and further meetings have been held between the Association and my officials regarding issues raised in a detailed presentation and submission made by the Alliance in recent weeks.
Following the recently announced proposals formulated by the Labour Relations Commission in relation to the Lansdowne Road Agreement on 29 May last, I indicated it is my intention to begin the orderly restoration of public service pension reductions made in recent years. In line with my stated commitments I will be bringing detailed proposals to Government shortly for approval providing for a reduction in the impact of the PSPR on public service pensions.
The Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association (GSRMA) representatives on the Alliance of Retired Public Servants during the period were Gerry Blake and Paschal Feeney.