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For Written Answer on : 01/02/2024
Question Number(s): 240,242 Question Reference(s): 4695/24, 4831/24
Department: Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform
Asked by: David Stanton T.D., Fergus O’Dowd T.D.
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QUESTION



* To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure; National Development Plan Delivery and Reform to outline the proposed pension increases for former employees of semi-State companies that are currently awaiting Government approval; if he will provide further details in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 1 February, 2024.

* To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure; National Development Plan Delivery and Reform when he expects to make a final decision on the ESB pensions increase request received in January; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Fergus O’Dowd T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 1 February, 2024.

REPLY


The pension scheme rules of commercial semi state bodies typically requires that the parent Minister of the semi state body and the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform both consent to pension increases under the relevant scheme. The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies 2016, as amended by Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform Circular 16/2021, also requires that pension increases in commercial semi state bodies must receive the consent of both Ministers.

Under rule 42.4 of the ESB Defined Benefit Pension Scheme, set out in Electricity Supply Board (Superannuation) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 18/2014), the consent of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform is required for pension increases under the Scheme.

On 22 November 2023, the Secretary of the Superannuation Committee of the ESB Defined Benefit Pension Scheme wrote to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications requesting consent for a 4.0% increase to pensions under the Scheme effective from 1 January 2024. A report on the proposed increase was completed by NewERA on 20 December which has informed the consent process.

On 17 January, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications wrote to my Department confirming the consent of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and requesting my consent. On 30 January officials in my Department communicated my consent to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

There are no commercial semi state body pension increase consent requests that have been submitted to my Department and that are still awaiting my approval. My Department does not hold information on proposed commercial semi state body pension increases which have not yet been submitted to my Department for my approval.