Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 06 October, 1999
Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
91. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the progress made with the recommendations in the report, Securing Retirement Income, May 1998; the number of recommendations in the report; the number of recommendations been put in place; the number outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18901/99]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): The Pensions Board report, Securing Retirement Income, on the national pensions policy initiative – NPPI – published in May 1998 is a comprehensive document, containing almost 100 specific recommendations.
At the time of the publication of the report, I set out the Government's response in Action on Pensions, a copy of which was furnished to each Deputy at the time. This response welcomed the broad thrust of the proposals and commented on the key recommendations.
I am pleased to say that the Government has already announced in July last that it intends to implement one of these key recommendations, namely, that the future costs of social welfare pensions should be partly pre-funded, while in the Social Welfare Act, 1999, I provided for the board's recommendation to prohibit reductions in occupational pensions already in payment, arising from increases in social welfare pensions.
In relation to other proposals, working groups are examining key recommendations such as how best to increase occupational pensions coverage and the mechanism suggested for achieving this – namely, the personal retirement savings accounts – PRSAs – as well as the simplification of the pensions taxation regime. Other recommendations relating to access, vesting, preservation and revaluation of occupational pensions are also being examined and developed by the Pensions Board and the Department, while I will also be considering reports from the board arising from the report in relation to the treatment of pension scheme surpluses, equal treatment, the establishment of a pensions ombudsman and the introduction of a compensation fund.
I propose to give legislative effect to the NPPI report in a comprehensive new occupational pensions Bill, which I hope to introduce early next year.
Dáil Éireann 508 Written Answers. Pension Provisions.