Dáil Questions: Social Protection

Home Page // Dáil Issues // Dáil Questions: Social Protection

Dáil Issues, Oral Questions, Social Welfare

Tanaiste Burton battens down the hatches and refuses any responsibility for the loss of livelihood of Aer Lingus and DAA pensioners

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection in relation to whether she had any meetings or discussions with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to securing a percentage of the proceeds of the sale of the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus to offset some of the financial hardship being experienced by existing and deferred members of the Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme . – Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015.

R E P L Y
I am very aware of the issues and negative consequences arising from the funding difficulties in this scheme. Indeed, many defined benefit pension schemes have encountered funding difficulties in recent years and are working with the Pensions Authority to respond to those difficulties in a manner which will secure the sustainability of pension provision for scheme members.

A number of legislative changes have been put in place in recent years to assist employers and the trustees of pension scheme respond to the funding difficulties encountered by some schemes. You will appreciate that it is not appropriate for me to comment on matters arising in a particular scheme as these are primarily a matter for the Trustees of the scheme, the companies participating in the scheme, the scheme members and the Pensions Authority.

The sale of the Aer Lingus shareholding was approved by Government on 27 May. The proceeds from any sale of the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus would be payable directly to the Central Fund and the use of such funds is a budgetary decision for the Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

ORAL question for answer on 24/06/2015 :
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she is aware of any investigation by the Pension Authority into the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme. – Clare Daly.

 

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015.
R E P L Y

The Pensions Act 1990 provides for the regulation of occupational pension schemes and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts.

The Pensions Authority is an independent regulator responsible for supervising the compliance of pension schemes with the Act. Section 18 provides that the Authority has the power to carry out investigations into alleged breaches of the Pensions Act.

Neither I nor my Department would be party to any such investigations and I have not received a report on any such investigation.

I would advise the Deputy to formally bring any concerns relating to the management of the IASS pension fund to the attention of the Pensions Authority.