Dáil Éireann - Volume 646 - 07 February, 2008
Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.
Deputy Michael Ring Deputy Michael Ring
Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the outcome of the response received from the supervising committee (details supplied). [4301/08]
Deputy Martin Cullen Deputy Martin Cullen
Deputy Martin Cullen: In its conclusions on the provisions relating to the special pension for the self employed, introduced in 1999, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) placed particular emphasis on Article 29(5) of the Euro pean Code of Social Security. This section deals with the situation where the beneficiary, because of his advanced age at the moment the pension scheme enters into force, is unable to fulfil the qualifying conditions. In such circumstances, the Code provides for the payment of a reduced pension “under prescribed conditions” to be determined in national legislation. My Department introduced a special pension scheme for self-employed people, who were too old to satisfy the standard qualifying conditions for pension, when they became compulsorily insured in 1988.
Accordingly, the views of the ILO Committee of Experts, which examines national reports on compliance with the European Code of Social Security on behalf of the Council of Europe, were sought on the conclusions of the IHRC report, and in particular whether the provisions of the Code require the payment of a pension in the circumstances, regardless of how few contributions have been paid by the person involved. The ILO Committee has only just recently been in touch with the Department in this regard and has indicated that “Article 29(5) applies only to pension schemes “conditional upon a minimum period of contribution or employment”, which, by definition, do not require pension to be paid in all cases, regardless of how few contributions have been paid by the person concerned. This response indicates that the Department’s position in this matter has been upheld. The report of the ILO Committee will be reviewed at the beginning of April by a Council of Europe Governmental Committee of Experts on Social Security tasked with the interpretation of the Code. The IHRC have been informed of the up to date position.
Dáil Éireann 646 Written Answers. Pension Provisions.