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Written Answers - Regulatory Impact Assessments

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 303.  Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  the number and description of any regulatory impact assessments that have been undertaken by her Department on legislation or proposed legislation since 9 March 2011; the stage in the legislative policy development process at which the RIAs have been carried out; the number of RIAs that have been published by her Department over the same period; the manner of publication involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23503/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton My Department carried out one regulatory impact analysis (RIA) during the period in question, following a Government decision in October 2011, in relation to the proposed changes to defined benefit pension schemes included in the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012.

The RIA was split into two parts: Part 1 dealt with the changes to the defined benefit model and in particular the proposal to introduce a risk reserve into the funding standard; Part 2 dealt with the re-introduction of the funding standard. The RIA was developed following a consul[411]tation that took place on changes defined benefit pension provision and included the views expressed during the consultation process.

The RIA was published on the Department’s website and made available to all deputies in advance of the publication of the Bill. It is available at:

http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Policy/Legislation/Regulatory%20Impact%20Analysis/Documents/riapension.pdf

The RIA process attempts to clarify the relevant factors for decision-making through the comprehensive and systematic compilation of relevant information. When considering legislative measures within the Department it helps to balance possible solutions to a problem, against the wider economic and distributional goals.

RIAs are normally used within the Department where significant legislative changes are proposed, rather than smaller changes to existing social welfare schemes which may take place each year. Examples in recent years include:

Retirement Annuity Contracts in the 2006,

The Citizens Information Bill in 2006,

Implementation of proposals on trusteeship in 2008.


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