Sunday 21 October 2018

Pension watchdog urged to probe Aer Lingus pot

'Staff at Aer Lingus have demanded that the supplementary pension, known as Pot B, be frozen until concerns around its wind-up are allayed.' Photo: Bloomberg
'Staff at Aer Lingus have demanded that the supplementary pension, known as Pot B, be frozen until concerns around its wind-up are allayed.' Photo: Bloomberg

Fearghal O'Connor

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has contacted the chief executive of the Pensions Authority to express concern at how funds from a special €100m Aer Lingus pension pot are being distributed, this newspaper has learned.

Staff at Aer Lingus have demanded that the supplementary pension, known as Pot B, be frozen until concerns around its wind-up are allayed. Doherty has asked the authority to look into the matter and to contact the trustee, it is understood.

The trustee of the scheme has received as many as 400 complaints about the winding up of Pot B, from which 2,300 staff are due to receive a share. This newspaper has previously reported huge differences between what many fund members with similar age profiles will receive.

Independent TD Clare Daly, who as a former Aer Lingus employee is a beneficiary of the scheme, wrote to the trustee claiming she was aware of one staff member who would get less than €2,000 from the scheme, while a colleague would receive €61,000 - over 30 times more. "It is incumbent on you to explain the fairness of this staggering inequity," wrote Daly. The scheme was originally set up with a €34m Exchequer payment to compensate workers for the Aer Lingus flotation.

Sunday Indo Business

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