Bid to end impasse over DAA pensions
A government-backed expert panel is understood to be drafting a final recommendation in an effort to break a deadlock over a controversial pensions issue at the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
The expert panel was formed last year to help resolve a dispute over how to address a huge €700m-plus shortfall at a defined benefit pension scheme that served about 15,000 retired, current and deferred workers from the DAA and Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus staff have already signed up to an agreement that saw the airline pay out almost €192m to help establish a new defined contribution plan for staff.
The expert panel recommended last year that the DAA set aside about €57m to help kick-start the new defined contribution pension scheme for its staff.
Another €15m was being set aside by the DAA for deferred members of the IASS scheme.
But DAA members of trade union SIPTU rejected the plan last December.
Early last month, the DAA gave about 1,200 staff a deadline of March 15 to accept a lumpsum payment for their new pension scheme.
The expert panel has met union representatives this week in an effort to clarify issues before making a recommendation, which is expected soon.