Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004
Written Answers - Pension Provisions.
Mr. Allen Mr. Allen
 140. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Finance if he has considered the approach advocated by the ESRI for the deployment of funds set aside for the national pensions reserve fund. [4720/04]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Mr. McCreevy: I am aware of various views expressed by individuals and institutions concerning the national pensions reserve fund, NPRF. The NPRF was established in April 2001 with the objective to meet as much as possible of the cost to the Exchequer of social welfare and public service pensions to be paid from the year 2025 until at least 2055. I have no plans to alter the basic levels at which contributions are made to the NPRF.
As explained in answers to other parliamentary questions in regard to the national pensions reserve fund, I am committed to the investment mandate of the fund as set out in section 19 of the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000. This provides that, in investing fund moneys, the commission shall seek to optimise total financial return provided the level of risk is acceptable to the commission. Therefore, the commission is required to adopt a standard commercial investment policy and it does not have discretion to choose not to invest in particular sectors or companies for anything other than commercial reasons. Accordingly, there is nothing to prevent the commissioners from investing in projects in Ireland should they be satisfied that such investments are likely to yield a commercial return.
I note that the ESRI has stressed the importance of infrastructural spending. It should be clear that the Government is fully committed to the development of the national infrastructure. As I announced in my recent Budget Statement, the Government will implement multi-annual capital investment envelopes over the period 2004 to 2008, providing for investment of about 5% of GNP per annum, which is twice the EU average.
Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 125.
Dáil Éireann 580 Written Answers Pension Provisions.