Pensions and public policy

 

Sir, – Eileen Gaughan (May 24th) states, “Retired public servants do not receive any social welfare pension but more recent entrants will have a combined public service/social welfare pension.”

She fails to point out that the reason for this situation is that until recently public servants, unlike those in the private sector, did not pay PRSI. It is their PRSI contributions over their working career that entitles private sector pensioners to the contributory social welfare pension. For those pensioners of limited means there is a means-tested non-contributory social welfare pension. – Yours, etc,

MIKE BROPHY,

Killiney, Co Dublin.

Sir, –Unlike civil servants, whose pensions are paid by the exchequer, occupational pensioners are provided out of contributions to a pension fund made by employees and their employer during their working lives.

The infamous pensions levy introduced by the government in 2011 has yielded some €2.25 billion for the exchequer with pension funds being correspondingly depleted. As a result, many occupational pensioners have had their pensions reduced, and in some cases the reduction will apply for the lifetime of the pensioner.

This contrasts with those on the State pension, whose pensions have been increased since 2011.

Furthermore, those whose pension is made up of the State pension and a supplementary pension are exempt from paying USC on the State pension component. In contrast, those whose pension comprises only an occupational pension get no exemption from USC and pay full USC on their pension. – Yours, etc,

PETER LYNCH,

Knocklyon,

Dublin 16.