Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 06 July, 1993

Written Answers. - Defence Forces Pension Scheme.

88. Mr. Cox asked the Minister for Defence if he will reconsider the conditions of paragraph 9 of the Defence Forces (Pensions) (Amendment) (No.3) Scheme, 1970, whereby an additional weekly increment authorised under this paragraph ceases to be paid on reaching the age of 70 as in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Andrews): The Defence Forces (Pensions) Schemes provide for the payment of a special increment of £3.46 a week in addition to his basic pension to a soldier for each year of his pensionable service in excess of 21 years but not exceeding 31 years. As a general rule, this special increment continues to be payable until the pensioner becomes entitled to a Social Welfare retirement pension (at age 65) or to a contributory old age pension (at age 66), at which stage the increment ceases to be payable. (The personal rate of either Social Welfare pension is considerably greater than the maximum special increment). Exceptionally, the increment continues to be payable up to 70 years of age in the case of a pensioner who was discharged prior to 1 August 1978, provided he is not in receipt of a Social Welfare retirement pension.

The withdrawal of the special increment is in accordance with the principle of co-ordinating occupational pensions in the public sector with Social Welfare pensions in the case of employees who are fully insured under the Social Welfare Acts.

This matter was examined by the Commission on Remuneration and Conditions of Service in the Defence Forces. The Commission did not recommend any change in the present arrangements.

The person in question who is in receipt of a contributory old age pension, [1151] was discharged prior to 1 August 1978 and will reach 70 years of age on 3 January 1994, from which date the special increment will cease to be payable in his case.