Call comes as Irish Life seeks to close staff DB scheme
Union warns 100,000 people vulnerable to unilateral DB scheme closures
May 14th: Unite, which represents workers in pensions giant Irish Life, today called on all political parties to cooperate to amend forthcoming legislation to ensure that healthy Defined Benefit pension schemes are protected from unilateral closure. Unite’s call comes as pensions giant Irish Life is just weeks away from closing its staff DB pension scheme without the union’s agreement. Pointing out that there are currently around 100,000 active members in Defined Benefit schemes, Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock warned that the unilateral closure of Irish Life’s DB scheme would send a worrying message to workers:
“If Ireland’s largest pension provider can get away with unilaterally closing their own employees’ DB scheme and moving staff to an inferior scheme without their union’s agreement, workers throughout the country will understandably worry that no occupational pension is safe. At a time when pension coverage is worryingly low, this is not the message workers should be getting.
“The clock is ticking not just for Irish Life workers whose employer is proposing to close their scheme on June 30th, but for around 100,000 members of DB schemes around the country”, Jackie Pollock pointed out.
Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne added:
“The Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill is currently before the Oireachtas. Unite is calling on parties to bring forward amendments at Committee stage which would protect healthy DB schemes from the kind of unilateral closure being threatened by Irish Life.
“Given that the Irish Life workers are just weeks away from the unilateral closure of their pension scheme at the end of June, Unite is urging the Government to fast-track this legislation and work with all parties to amend it before June 30th”, Richie Browne concluded.