Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Tuesday, 16 May 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 519 No. 2

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  337.  Mr. Browne (Carlow-Kilkenny):  Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods   the number or retired male and female teachers who are former members of religious orders and who are not benefiting from the 1994 national agreement in relation to full recognition of years served in capitation schools. [13535/00]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The agreement referred to by the Deputy was made under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work. The PCW agreement provides for the full recognition for pensions purposes of teaching service given by a member of a religious order on the approved staff of a capitation national school. Under previous agreements, made in the 1970s, it was possible for half of such service to be reckoned as pensionable.

Such service, known as capitation service, was not pensionable when given because members of religious orders in capitation national schools were not paid personal salary by my Department. In order for capitation service to be reckoned as pensionable in full, the PCW agreement provides that a contribution of 5% of pay at retirement, or 6% where the teacher is a member of the spouses' and children's pension scheme, should be deducted from the retirement lump sum in respect of each year of such service given from 1 July 1968, the date from which the national teachers' superannuation scheme became a contributory scheme.

It was agreed that these provisions would apply in the case of teachers in pensionable service on or after 1 February 1996. All teachers, including current and former members of religious orders, who gave capitation teaching service and have retired since 1 February 1996 are now benefiting from these provisions.

My Department keeps records of the numbers of teachers who retire each year but does not maintain separate records of the numbers of such teachers who are or were members of religious orders. An examination of the files of those who retired in 1999 shows that about 8% of primary teachers who retired in 1999, i.e. 46 teachers, gave capitation teaching service.

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