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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - CIE Pensions.

Tuesday, 7 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 1

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7.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is aware that numbers of CIE wages grade pensioners receive a pension of £1 2s. 6d. a week after 37 years service, and of £2 11s. 3d. after 42 years service; and if he will now consider the whole question of CIE pensions for those who retired some time ago with a view to providing them with pensions more in accord with the cost of living.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The categories of wages grade pensioners referred to in the Deputy's question are among those who retired from the service of CIE prior to April, 1963. The retirement benefit of these pensioners must take account of social welfare benefit.

In addition to their CIE pension these pensioners are entitled to social welfare benefits particularly the contributory old age pension which is payable at 70 years of age. The contributory old age pension which in April, 1963 stood at £1 15s. 0d. for a single man and £4 for a married man has since been increased to £2 7s. 6d. for a single man and £5 7s. 6d. for a married man. CIE pensioners who opted for £2 11s. 3d. rate of pension reducing to 22/6 at 70 years, now have a total pension plus social welfare income from 70 years of age of £4 2s. 6d a week in the case of a single man and £6 10s. a week for a married man.

Unless the existing members of the CIE Wages Grade Pension Scheme were prepared to agree to an amendment of the Scheme to provide for an increase in the rates of pension payable to these pre-April, 1963 pensioners, the full cost of any such increase [8] would fall to be borne by CIE on an ex-gratia basis. The Deputy is already fully aware of the difficult financial position of the Board at the present time and of the causes of it.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Is the Minister prepared to make a recommendation to the pensions board of CIE that the pensions be upped? Does he still say that in assessing the pensions of CIE employees there should be a means test to the extent of taking into consideration the old age pension to which they are entitled?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers There is no means test in connection with the contributory old age pension. These pensions were originally fixed on the basis of a means test.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I did not say that. The Minister's case is that the pensions are adequate because they have sufficient to make them up from the contributory old age pensions.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers What I have said is that these old age pensions have been increased and that undoubtedly they will be increased again.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Does the Minister say that after 37 years service it is right that a man should receive a pension of a mere 22/6d a week? Would he compare that with the pension allowed to the ex-Chairman of CIE of £3,000 a year plus a gratuity? CIE seem to have had no difficulty in finding that kind of money.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The Deputy should compare the pensions today with what they were when he was Minister in charge of the office.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Would the Minister say why it is that his is the only Department of State which insists on counting in the old age pension where State or semi-State pensions are being paid? Is it because the Minister has an outlook which no other Minister shares?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers It is made clear that the social welfare contributory old age pension is intended to supplement other pension schemes.

[9]Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Not at all.


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