Sunday 26 January 2020

Ex-Aer Lingus and Dublin airport staff hit by pension levy

Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

RETIRED Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport workers have become the latest to be hit by a levy on pensions.

Pensioners who previously worked in Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and SR Technics will now get lower pensions, they were told yesterday. The controversial pensions levy came in last May and is imposed on all private sector pension schemes and on schemes in semi-state com- panies.

All pensions schemes, except those for civil servants and public sector workers, have to pay over 0.6pc of the assets of the funds to the State for four years.

This means the benefits of workers who have yet to retire are reduced while pensions being paid out are also cut.

The pensions for Aer Lingus, the DAA and SR Technics are paid out of what is called the joint Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme.

Trustee of the Aviation fund Brian Duncan said in a communication to pensioners the reduction in pensions in payment would be "modest".

Pensioners are to be told in the coming months how the reductions in their payments will be implemented.

The airport workers' retirement scheme has seen its deficit balloon from €343m to €700m. The jump in the deficit is due to low interest rates and poor investment returns.

Mr Duncan told scheme members that current employer and employee contributions are not sufficient to fund benefits. He also told members that employers have said that they will not pay additional contributions into the scheme.

Talks are under way at the Labour Relations Commission in a bid to agree a strategy to address the deficit.

Irish Independent

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