Wednesday 21 February 2018

Pension deficit urgent issue for DAA -- Siptu


John Mulligan

Trade union Siptu has told the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) that securing a resolution of the pension crisis facing thousands of workers at the company and Aer Lingus needs to be given "premium priority". It also criticised the lack of progress at finding a solution.

In a letter sent to John McCormack, the DAA's head of industrial relations, this week, Siptu described the current pension structure as a "flawed scheme" and said it was "profoundly illogical" that money continued to be poured into it.

It is understood that DAA workers have also just been briefed in writing about issues facing the pension scheme, where the deficit could be as high as €500m, threatening the future payouts that members of the scheme will be entitled to.

Both the DAA and Aer Lingus have so far remained adamant that they won't cough up any more funds for the legacy defined-benefit scheme, saying they have no legal obligation to do so. A report undertaken for the pension scheme's members and published yesterday says the DAA and Aer Lingus should inject "significant lump sums" to offset the pension deficit.

How to deal with the massive deficit has to be resolved by the pension scheme's board of trustees by the end of the year.

Aer Lingus has previously warned that it could face damaging industrial action if the pension deficit issue flares up.

Siptu sector organiser Teresa Hannick said: "There is considerable frustration at the lack of progress in resolving the deficit issues."

Until there's clarification surrounding the pension scheme deficit, it acts as a major deterrent to buyer interest in the Government's 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus.

Irish Independent

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