Dáil Éireann - Volume 540 - 04 July, 2001
Written Answers. - Social Insurance Fund.
Ms O'Sullivan Ms O'Sullivan
34. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the progress to date on the establishment and operation of the social insurance fund board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20097/01]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): The Programme For Prosperity and Fairness contains a commitment that the establishment of a social insurance board with representation from the social partners will be examined over the lifetime of the programme.
As the Deputy will be aware, the social insurance fund is in a healthy financial situation at present. The surpluses which have emerged since 1997 onwards require careful management in order to ensure that they are used to best advantage having regard to emerging demands and the overall interest of its contributors.
It was announced at budget time that the Minister for Finance and I will, during the course of this year, conduct an examination of possible strategies in this regard. In order to inform such an examination, my Department has engaged external consultants to conduct an actuarial review of the social insurance fund for the period 2001 to 2056 and this work is already under way.
This review will build on the findings of the 1997 review in relation to social insurance based pensions as well as dealing, for the first time, with short-term benefits. It is envisaged that the review will be completed by October next.
The outcome of the review will inform short to medium and long-term policy development in relation to the social insurance system generally and the emerging surpluses of recent years. It will also directly feed into the examination of possible roles of a social insurance board and the social partners will be fully consulted as part of this process.
Dáil Éireann 540 Written Answers. Social Insurance Fund.