Derry is to benefit from 95 jobs as part a of the decentralisation of Social Security Agency posts from Belfast.
The posts - which deal with State Pension - will relocate from Belfast City Centre’s Windsor House, to the Agency’s offices at Carlisle House in Derry by next Spring.
Making the announcement, DSD Minister Alex Attwood said the process to move the 95 posts to sit alongside 300 staff administering Pension Credit in Derry will begin this autumn
“This will allow for closer working between these two services leading, in the future, to the delivery of a single pension service in Northern Ireland,” he said.
The Social Security Agency currently administers State Pensions from Belfast and Pension Credit from Derry. When the relocation is complete, both services will be administered from Derry.”
Minister Attwood confirmed that no redundancies will be associated with the relocation. He added that staff that do not move to Derry are to be redeployed within the Social Security Agency, the Department for Social Development or the wider Civil Service.
He said: “This move provides an opportunity to look at accommodation costs for the Social Security Agency at a time when the value of every penny of public expenditure must be weighed.”
SDLP MLA Pól Callaghan hailed the move as “good news for Derry’s civil servants and for the city’s economy”. “This Minister is showing what is possible where there is political will and positive leadership.”
He said the initiative would give many Derry families a better quality of life by allowing workers to work in the city in which they live.
“Given that some of the staff may be part time I understand that nearer 100 staff will benefit. Around 800 staff have been on transfer lists to move from Belfast to Derry. Every government department should follow this lead so that all their staff has the opportunity to work as well as live here. Sammy Wilson may have tried to bin the Bain Report on public sector decentralisation, but this move shows that change can still happen where there is good leadership.”