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Written Answers. - Public Service Retirement Schemes.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 52. Mr. M. McDowell Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons in the public service are being granted redundancy/early retirement packages in circumstances in which they are free to seek employment in other public sector agencies; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that some transactions could be effected far more economically by secondment or transfer; his policy regarding persons retiring early from the State service who become reengaged in other State-funded agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9125/96]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn A person who availed of a voluntary redundancy or early retirement scheme from a private sector organisation would clearly be free to seek employment subsequent to such redundancy or retirement. Such freedom also applies to public sector employees in a similar [92] situation, and it would not be appropriate for me to interfere with this freedom. Moreover, given the size and number of State agencies, it would not be surprising that instances arise in which persons let go by one agency might subsequently be re-employed in another.

It would not of course be acceptable that a person who was granted early retirement terms, including pension benefits, should be re-employed in the same organisation and continue to receive pension benefits from that organisation. While it is not inconceivable that a person might at a later stage successfully gain employment with the same agency or within the same area of the public service from which he or she had previously been made redundant, pension benefits in payment would immediately cease on such re-employment. Any lump-sum benefits received at the time of initial redundancy would be taken into account at the time of eventual retirement.

Redeployment is one of the options to be considered when the question of [93] redundancies arise in the public service and is brought to attention. It is clearly necessary, however, to locate areas which might have the capacity to absorb those threatened with redundancy and that their skills and expertise profile should match requirements in those areas. This, unfortunately, is not always the case.

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