Part-time fire fighters will have to contribute to the pension levy even though they may not be entitled to claim a pension when they retire, a meeting of Waterford County Council heard in Dungarvan this week.

The Council sent a letter to the Minister for the Environment protesting against part-time fire fighters having to pay the levy. The matter was initially raised by Cllr Billy Kyne (Lab).

The Council was told that the matter was raised in a Dail question by Deputy John Deasy (FG). In reply the Minister said any public servant who was a member of the public service pension scheme, was entitled to a benefit under the scheme or receive a payment in lieu of membership, and was subject to a deduction from their remuneration.-

In 2008, retained fire fighters were given the option of joining the Local Government Superannuation Scheme. Retained fire fighters who opted not to join receive on retirement a gratuity of one-eighth of the annual retainer multiplied by the number of years of actual service up to a maximum of four times the annual retainer.

This was a payment in lieu of membership of a pension scheme and as such retained fire fighters were subject to the deduction outlined in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2008.