April 21st: Trade union Unite today called on Acting Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to immediately revoke new regulations levying an additional 0.3 per cent charge on fund value for deferred pension members, retrospective to 2015.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said:
“Statutory Instrument 52/2016 issued by Acting Minister Joan Burton earlier this month has not only cut the future pensions of over 400,000 workers – it also sets a worrying precedent and further increases uncertainty for workers. Neither the caretaker Government nor Acting Minister Burton have a mandate to make a decision with such far-reaching policy implications.
“While annual statutory revaluations for deferred DB pensions funds are usual, this is the first time that a negative revaluation has been imposed.
“This decision will affect the future pensions of hundreds of thousands of workers, and Unite is calling on the Minister to immediately revoke the regulations pending a full consultation with all stakeholders which should be carried out by the incoming Government.
“While the revaluation may help some DB schemes in difficulties, it imposes a significant future cost on workers – and does nothing to address the root cause of Ireland’s pension difficulties, which is that workers are forced to rely for their retirement income on the vagaries of fund investment decisions and equity movements.
“Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of Ireland’s pension problems, the incoming Government must conduct a full review of pension provision as a matter of urgency. In this regard, consideration should be given to state-led options such as a universal pay-related social insurance pension which would guarantee all workers an adequate income in retirement
“In the meantime, Unite is calling on the Acting Minister to immediately revoke these regulations”, Richie Browne said.