Dáil Éireann - Volume 450 - 09 March, 1995

Written Answers. - School Caretakers Superannuation Scheme.

73. Mr. Browne (Wexford) asked the Minister for Education if she will introduce a retirement scheme for primary school caretakers. [4949/95]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I assume the Deputy is referring to the absence of a superannuation scheme for school caretakers employed under a grant scheme set up by my Department in 1979. I have no plans to introduce such a scheme.

[958] This question was explored fully in 1985 when a superannuation scheme was being established for secretaries in primary schools. At the time the age profile of the caretakers employed under the scheme rendered the proposal impractical. The position regarding the age profile has worsened in the interim due to the embargo on recruitment which applied from 1983.

The expansion of caretaking services in primary schools is now being funded through a scheme of additional capitation grants. Consequently there will be no expansion of the old scheme which might significantly lower the age profile.

Through the discretion afforded by the capitation scheme, primary schools apply diverse arrangements for caretaking services. These individualised arrangements preclude a central superannuation scheme. They also preclude the construction of a common superannuation scheme through which younger persons employed under the new scheme might be joined with the small number under the old scheme that might elect to join a superannuation scheme if it were on offer.