Dáil Éireann - Volume 432 - 17 June, 1993

Written Answers. - Pension Eligibility.

55. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the National Pensions Board's consideration of submissions received in regard to extending the eligibility for old age pension entitlements is related to or arises from the report of the Commission on Social Welfare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

56. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Welfare the length of time deliberations in regard to extended eligibility in respect of contributory old age pension have been taking place; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 55 and 56 together.

The National Pensions Board, which was set up in 1986, is reviewing all aspects of pensions with a view to putting forward proposals for an overall national pensions policy. The Board has already submitted and published four major reports about pensions. These are:

1. First Report of the National Pensions Board, (Regulation of Occupational Pensions Schemes).

2. Report on Equal Treatment for Men and Women in Occupational Pensions Schemes.

3. Report on the Extension of Social Insurance to the Self-Employed.

4. Tax Treatment of Occupational Pension Schemes.

The Board is currently preparing its final report which will address pension development into the next century. The Commission on Social Welfare, which reported in 1986, addressed all aspects of [1306] policy in relation to social welfare schemes, including pensions, and the discussions and conclusions of the Commission are clearly relevant to the deliberations of the Pensions Board.

I expect to receive the Board's final report shortly.