Tuesday 19 February 2019

Warning that 10,000 CIÉ pensioners are facing crisis

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John Downing

John Downing

Up to 10,000 pensioners in the CIÉ group of companies are facing a crisis as their pension scheme is underfunded by some €80m.

Fianna Fáil's welfare spokesman Willie O'Dea said workers approaching retirement in Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and CIÉ had no guarantees that their pensions would be honoured. He said negotiations on the issue were "going nowhere" and urged Transport Minister Shane Ross to intervene.

Mr O'Dea said the problem dated back to the early 1990s, when a number of CIÉ pension schemes were merged. The workers, said Mr O'Dea, were given guarantees on their pensions but the company had since consistently underfunded the pension provision.

He also claimed that the company was not delivering on its traditional practice of funding a legal opinion for the workers, as it had always done in efforts to resolve previous pension disputes.

Speaking previously under Dáil privilege, Mr O'Dea said "flawed and legally questionable proposals to drastically reduce the benefits for the employees" were submitted by CIÉ to the Pensions Board.

Mr Ross said the matter was primarily an issue for the CIÉ group. But he undertook to pass on the workers' concerns.

He added that CIÉ had submitted a long-term plan to remedy the pension scheme by 2023.

Irish Independent

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