HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS
(MEMBERS) PENSIONS SCHEME.
Made under Section 6A of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act, 1938.
1. (1)—In this Scheme
“Parliamentary Allowance” means the allowance referred to in (i) Section 2 of the Oireachtas (Payment of Members) Act, 1923, and (ii) Section 3 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act, 1938.
“Public Funds” means voted moneys, the Central Fund, the funds of local or harbour authorities, the funds of a company or board set up by a Public General Act of the Oireachtas or in which the Minister for Finance holds the majority of the issued ordinary shares.
“The Trustees” means the Trustees referred to in Clause 3 hereof.
“The Fund” means the Fund hereby established and all contributions paid to the Trustees under this Scheme and all moneys, investments and property for the time being representing the same or otherwise held by the Trustees upon the trusts hereof and the income thereof.
(2) The Interpretation Act, 1937 shall apply to this Scheme.
2.—(1) A Fund is hereby established under an irrevocable trust for the payment of pensions to members of the Oireachtas in accordance with the provisions hereof. The Fund shall be known as “Ciste Pinsean Thithe an Oireachtais (Comhaltaí)” and shall be vested in the Trustees. All contributions paid by members of the Oireachtas and all sums received from any other source for the purposes of this Scheme shall be credited to the Fund, and all payments of pensions under this Scheme and all expenses incurred in the operation of the Scheme shall be debited to it.
(2) The moneys standing to the credit of the Fund shall from time to time be invested by the Trustees in their joint names in such securities as may for the time being be authorised by law for the investment of trust funds or in such securities as may from time to time be approved by the Minister for Finance as investments for the Fund.
(3) The Trustees shall keep proper accounts of all receipts and expenditure and shall cause an annual account made up to the end of each financial year to be prepared and audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and shall present such annual account to each House of the Oireachtas within six months after the expiration of each financial year.
3.—(1) The Trustees for the purposes of this Scheme shall be the persons who for the time being hold the offices of Ceann Comhairle, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann and Minister for Finance.
(2) The Trustees shall stand possessed of the Fund upon trust to apply the same in or towards providing the pensions payable under this Scheme.
(3) The administration and management of the Scheme shall be vested in the Trustees.
(4) The Trustees shall exercise the powers and functions and perform the duties prescribed by this Scheme and any regulations or rules made hereunder or under Section 6A of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act, 1938.
(5) Whenever a Trustee is temporarily unable to act, his functions as such Trustee may be discharged by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, the Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann or the Minister designated by the Government as acting Minister for Finance as the case may be.
(6) The Trustees may sell any investments or property for the time being forming part of the Fund, and shall invest the proceeds of any such sale and any money forming part of the Fund and not immediately required for the payment of pensions hereunder with power to vary or transpose such investments for or into others of a like nature or to sell or realise the same as may be necessary, for the payment of pensions hereunder.
(7) The Trustees may retain cash balances of such amount that they may think fit and shall not be chargeable in respect of any interest thereon or otherwise in respect thereof.
(8) The Trustees shall meet at such times, not being less than once a year, and at such place as they shall decide, and shall make regulations for the conduct of their business, the summoning of meetings, the appointment of a chairman, the recording of resolutions and all other matters in connexion with their work. Two of the Trustees present at a meeting shall form a quorum. At all meetings of the Trustees all questions shall be decided by the votes of the Trustees present taken by a show of hands. In the case of an equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
(9) The Trustees shall exercise their powers and execute their duties under this Scheme by resolutions passed at meetings of the Trustees provided that a resolution in writing shall, if signed by all the Trustees, be as effectual as if it had been passed at a meeting of the Trustees, and may consist of one or more documents in similar form signed by one or more of the Trustees.
(10) Any two of the Trustees may jointly give receipts and discharges for any moneys or other property payable, transferable or deliverable to the Trustees or any of them, and every such receipt or discharge shall be as valid and effectual as if it were a receipt or discharge signed by all the Trustees.
(11) A Trustee shall be chargeable only for such moneys as he actually receives, notwithstanding his signing any receipt for the sake of conformity, and shall be answerable and responsible only for his own acts, receipts or omissions.
(12) The Trustees may, whenever they think it desirable so to do, raise or borrow any sum or sums of money and may secure the repayment of the same in such manner and upon such terms and conditions in all respects as the Trustees may think fit and, in particular, by charging or mortgaging all or any part of the Fund.
(13) The Trustees may in relation to the Scheme act on the advice or opinion of any lawyer, broker, actuary, accountant or other professional person, and shall not be responsible for any loss occasioned by so acting.
(14) No decision or exercise of a power by the Trustees shall be invalidated or questioned on the ground that the Trustees or any of them had a direct or other personal interest in such decision or in the exercise of such power.
(15) The Trustees shall not be bound in any case to act personally but shall be at liberty to designate any member of the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas or other person to transact any business (including the receipt and payment of moneys) which the Trustees may decide to entrust to such person.
(16) The Trustees shall be entitled to charge all expenses incurred in the execution of the Trust to the Fund.
4.—(1) There shall be deducted from the Parliamentary Allowance payable to each member of the Oireachtas in respect of each month after 30th November, 1960 a contribution to the Fund at the rate of 6% per annum of the Parliamentary Allowance to which such member is entitled.
(2) Such deduction shall be made in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister for Finance.
(3) Each such contribution shall be paid by the Minister for Finance to the Trustees as soon as practicable.
5.—(1) The Trustees may pay to each person who
(a) has completed not less than ten years service as a member of the Oireachtas and
(b) has ceased to be a member of either House of the Oireachtas after 1st December, 1960, but excluding a member of either House who, having ceased to be a member of either House by reason of a dissolution of Dáil Éireann, becomes entitled to receive a Parliamentary Allowance as from the day that either House, newly constituted after such dissolution, first meets and
(c) has contributed to the Fund in accordance with clause 4 hereof
a pension for his life not exceeding
(i) 1/60 of the Parliamentary Allowance for members of the Dáil in respect of each year of service in the Dáil and
(ii) 1/60 of the Parliamentary Allowance for members of Seanad Éireann in respect of each year of service in the Oireachtas which is not taken into account under (i) hereof.
(2) For the purpose of calculating length of service, the total in days of all the periods during which a Parliamentary Allowance was payable to a member of the Dáil shall be divided by 365 in order to obtain the number of years of service referred to in (i) hereof. The number of years of service so obtained shall be subtracted from the total number of years ascertained in a similar manner, during which a Parliamentary Allowance as a member of the Dáil or of Seanad Éireann was payable, and the resulting figure shall be the residue of years to be taken into account under (ii) hereof. In the calculation of the number of years for this purpose (but not for the purpose of the calculation of the minimum period for eligibility for pension) any residue of days exceeding 182 shall be taken as a complete year.
(3) For the purposes of sub-clause (1) (i) and (ii) the relevant Parliamentary Allowance shall be the amount of such allowance at the date on which a person becomes eligible by cesser of membership of either House of the Oireachtas for a pension under this Scheme.
(4) Where a member of the Oireachtas is eligible for a pension under the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Acts, 1938 to 1960, the period of service necessary to qualify such member for the said pension under the said Acts shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the amount of pension payable under this Scheme or in the calculation of the period of 10 years referred to in (1) (a) of this clause.
(5) No pension shall be payable under this Scheme in respect of service in the Oireachtas for less than 10 complete years or in excess of 40 years.
(6) A pension payable under this Scheme if the person entitled to such pension shall become entitled to sit in either House of the Oireachtas shall cease with effect from the date on which the Parliamentary Allowance payable to him commences.
(a) a person in receipt of a pension under this Scheme receives any payment by way of pension out of Public Funds (other than a pension or allowance under the Army Pensions Acts, 1923 to 1960 or a pension under the Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924 to 1960), and
(b) the aggregate of the amount of the pension paid under this Scheme and the payments by way of pension out of Public Funds exceeds £1,000 in any period of 12 months,
the annual amount of the pension shall be reduced by the amount of the excess.
(8) Whenever a former member of the Oireachtas becomes entitled to a pension under this Scheme, he shall make application for such pension in such form as may from time to time be prescribed by the Trustees.
(9) A pension under this Scheme will be payable as from the date upon which the person became entitled to it, if such person applies to the Trustees for such pension within six months after the date when he became so entitled. If a person entitled to a pension does not apply within such period, he shall be entitled to a pension under this Scheme as and from the date of his application for it.
Valuation of Fund.
6. The Trustees shall cause the position of the Fund to be investigated by an Actuary at least once in every five years, and the Trustees shall for that purpose furnish all necessary accounts and information to the Actuary. Such Actuary shall be appointed by the Trustees. On each such occasion the Actuary shall make an actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of the Fund and shall report to the Trustees in writing on the financial position of the Fund. The Trustees shall make a report on the results of such valuation to each House of the Oireachtas. If such report shall show a deficiency in the Fund, or that the contributions payable by members are not sufficient to pay for the pensions paid under this Scheme, the contributions payable under the Scheme may be increased or the pensions payable under the Scheme may be reduced by a resolution of each House of the Oireachtas.
7. Payment of a pension under this Scheme shall be subject to the making of a declaration by the person claiming such pension in such form as the Trustees may consider necessary and at such times as the Trustees may require.
Inalienability of Pensions.
8. A pension under this Scheme shall not be assigned, charged or alienated in any way and shall cease to be payable if the person entitled to it shall be adjudged a bankrupt or make any arrangement or composition with his creditors, or shall assign, charge or attempt to assign or charge such pension or any part thereof or if some act or event shall be done or happen whereby such pension or any part thereof shall become vested in or charged in favour of some other person or persons or a corporation. If and so often as after the doing or happening of any such act or event the whole of the said pension shall become payable to such person for his own absolute use and benefit, free from encumbrances, then the Trustees shall pay such pension to him. During the parts (if any) of the life of a person entitled to such pension during which he shall not be entitled to receive it because of the provision of this clause the Trustees may in their absolute discretion pay all or any part of the said pension to, or apply the same for the maintenance and personal support or benefit of all or any one or more to the exclusion of the other or others of the following persons, namely, the person formerly entitled to such pension, his wife (if any) and his children or dependants for the time being in existence, whether minors or adults.
Rule against Perpetuities.
9. The rule of law known as “The Rule Against Perpetuities” shall not apply to this Scheme.
Incapacity of Pensioner.
10. If a person entitled to receive a pension under this Scheme becomes incapable of giving a receipt for payments thereof, such pension or any part thereof may be paid at the discretion of the Trustees to the Treasurer of any institution in which such person may be or to such person or persons as the Trustees, in their absolute discretion, shall think fit for the benefit of such person or his dependants (if any).
Amendment of Scheme.
11. This Scheme may be amended from time to time by resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas.
Winding Up of Scheme.
12. The Scheme may be wound up by a resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas. If such a resolution shall be passed the Trustees shall realise the assets of the Fund and, after making provision for all costs, charges and expenses properly payable thereout, shall apply the Fund in the purchase from an assurance company of noncommutable and non-assignable annuities for the remainder of the lives of those persons who are then in receipt of pensions from the Fund. Such annuities shall, as far as possible, be of an amount equal to the pensions which such persons are then receiving. If there shall be any balance of the Fund remaining, it shall be disposed of in such manner as may be approved of by resolution of each House of the Oireachtas.