For Written Answer on : 21/04/2021
Question Number(s): 569 Question Reference(s): 20119/21
Department: Public Expenditure and Reform
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if rent allowance is reckonable with respect to the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020 and pensions paid to retired prison officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I understand the Deputy is referring to the policy in relation to pension increases for retired prison officers focusing in particular on the impact of changes in the treatment of rent allowance for the pensions of these retirees.
The application of the existing pension increase policy to situations in which a pensionable fixed periodic allowance (rent allowance, in the case of Prison Officers) was increased and then consolidated into the relevant salary scale was not explicitly addressed under the existing policy. As a result, the matter had to be reviewed by my Department and specific guidance drawn up.
I can inform the Deputy that my Department recently issued a communication which allows the National Shared Services Office (NSSO), which administers civil service pensions, to include the rent allowance changes in the calculation and payment of appropriate pension increases to qualifying retired Prison Officers.
I understand that the NSSO is currently prioritising the processing of the increases due including any arrears payable with the intention that the majority of all eligible retired Prison Officers will received their increases, including any arrears payable by the end of June 2021, with any outstanding cases to be paid by end July at the latest.