The Building Momentum Agreement stipulated an increase in annualised basic salary for serving public servants from 1 October 2023 of 1.5% or €750, whichever is greater. Under the public service ‘pay parity’ concept, the pensions of ARCO members are increased in line with movements in the pay and allowances of serving personnel.
ARCO recently received a number of queries from retired officers, in receipt of lower rates of pension, and who fall within the thresholds of 1.5% or €750 (as applied to pensions), who expressed doubts that they did not receive their full increase in pension.
Mindful that the military pensions of the vast majority of eligible surviving spouses of our past members could also be affected, ARCO has been in communication with Pensions Section of the Department of Defence on the matter. Pensions Section has provided the following clarification:
- From 1 October 2023 all serving officer ranks, other than some Lieutenant scale points, received a 1.5% increase in their annual rate of pay. In the case of certain Lieutenant scale points, the amount of €750 exceeded the 1.5% and therefore a slightly higher percentage increase in pay applied in those cases.
- The relevant percentage increase in pay is what determines the amount of increase that will apply to the related pension. This does not equate with the actual monetary increase (€750) received by serving personnel.
- For example where a serving member received an increase in annual pay of €750, this might equate to a 1.53% increase in their annual pay. This 1.53% is what would then be used to calculate the increase to apply to the relevant pensions.
ARCO also requested confirmation that adjustments to pensions throughout the Building Momentum Agreement and subsequent amendments, fully include adjustments in allowances in the nature of pay such as Military Service Allowance (MSA), in accordance with the principle of pay parity.
Pensions Section confirmed that:
- Allowances in the nature of pay (including MSA), were increased for serving personnel by 1.5% across all officer ranks, including Lieutenant. Allowances calculated as a specific percentage or specified portion of basic pay were also increased for serving personnel.
- These increases in allowances for serving personnel have been passed on to military pensions as appropriate.
In summary, Pensions Section were happy to confirm that:
- Those whose pension entitlements which fell within the thresholds of 1.5% and €750, whichever is the greater (as applied to pensions) are in receipt of their full entitlements.
- Adjustments to pensions throughout the Building Momentum Agreement and subsequent amendments, fully include adjustments in allowances in the nature of pay such as Military Service Allowance (MSA), and other allowances, in accordance with the principle of pay parity.