Ireland's finance minister Charles McCreevy has announced plans to amend the pension regime for ministers and other parliament office holders.
In the second reading of the ministerial, parliamentary and judicial offices and Oireachtas bill, McCreevy introduced new sections to take account of the role and responsibilities of office holders and to modernise some of the provisions relating to spouses’ and childrens’ pensions.
The new arrangements include:
*Reduction of the minimum age for payment of pension under a scheme from 55 to 50.
*Reduction of the minimum length of service needed to qualify for a pension under the office holders’ pension scheme from the present three years to two years.
*Equal payment for an attorney general and a minister. McCreevy proposed that an attorney general’s salary should be pensioned under the office holders’ scheme and under the houses of the Oireachtas (members) pension scheme.
*An increase in a secretarial pension to take account of the new allowance payable to ministers of state who regularly attend government meetings.
*Changes to provisions in the office holders’ pension scheme for payment of benefits to spouses and children of former office holders to allow a spouse’s pension to be paid regardless of when the marriage took place.
By Janet Du Chenne
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