Dáil Éireann - Volume 342 - 11 May, 1983

Written Answers. - CIE Pensions.

593. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Transport if he is aware that certain supervisory grades in CIE are not covered for social welfare benefits and do not qualify for old age pensions; if he is aware that these workers, many of whom are retired, receive pensions from CIE which are less than those made to old age pensioners; the steps he will take to resolve the position; and the plans his Department have on the matter.

Minister for Transport (Mr. J. Mitchell): The pensions of certain supervisory grades in common with other salaried staff in CIE are determined by reference to their salary on retirement and to their pensionable service. In reckoning the pensionable service of such supervisory grades, regard is had to their service prior to promotion to the supervisory grade. These pensions are reviewed in July each year to take account of changes in salary for the appropriate grades.

CIE supervisory staff in common with their other established salaried staff pay only Class D1 Pay Related Social Insurance contributions, i.e. the contribution appropriate to permanent and pensionable employees in the public service. The benefits for Class D1 contributors do not include retirement or old age pensions. Some supervisory grades may, however, qualify for certain social welfare retirement benefits on reaching 65 years of age and subsequently for old age pensions, based on the period for which they have contributed to full pay-related social insurance when employed as wages grades staff prior to their appointment as supervisors.

[965] There are cases where supervisors are in receipt of pensions from the board's superannuation schemes which are less than the social welfare retirement or old age pensions. Some of these, as I have indicated, by virtue of their previous insurability, would be entitled to such social welfare benefit as would bring their pension up to at least the minimum level of the contributory social welfare pension. Those not holding such previous insurability would, subject to a means test, qualify for such social welfare benefit as would bring their pension up to at least the minimum level of the social welfare non-contributory pension appropriate to them.

As the Deputy may be aware, CIE and the staff interests have been authorised by the Government to continue negotiations on a new service related scheme for the wages grades staff on similar lines to public sector type schemes as to contributions and benefits, to be considered by the Government on the basis of prevailing financial circumstances when a final draft scheme is submitted to me. The position outlined in the Deputy's question will no doubt be taken into account in the course of these negotiations.