Wednesday, 10 March 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
123. Mr. Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the adjustment of pensions under the farm retirement scheme to take account of the introduction of the euro has resulted in retirement pensions being reduced by over 5 per cent; and if arrangements will be put in place to ensure that retired farmers will not lose out due to the currency change. [7351/99]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The Council of Agriculture Ministers have agreed that compensation will be paid over the next three years to participants in the schemes affected by reductions arising from the introduction of the euro.
Full compensation, with 100 per cent funding by the EU will be payable in 1999 for the reduction in 1999 pensions under the scheme of early retirement from farming to participants who joined the scheme prior to 1998. My Department is in consultation with the EU Commission for clarification on the issue of compensation for participants who joined during 1998. Two further annual tranches of compensation will be paid, each reduced vis-à-vis the level of the previous tranche by at least a third of the amount paid out in the first tranche. These two further tranches can be funded equally by the EU and member states with the member states contribution being optional. Approval of the EU Commission is necessary before compensation will be paid.
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