- Fingal TD raises issue in Dáil with Minister -
Local TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that a Bill introduced in the Dáil this week by Fianna Fáil will provide greater pension protection for employees and ensure that solvent employers are not able to walk away from their obligations in relation to defined benefit pension schemes.
The Fianna Fáil bill, Pensions (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 will provide for an appeals mechanism where a pension scheme is being wound up by its trustees so that workers affected have a chance to protect their interests. It also specifies conditions for the winding up of defined benefit pension schemes.
Speaking on the legislation in the Dáil on Tuesday, Deputy O’Brien said, “Over the past number of years, we have seen many large, financially solvent companies, wind up their pension schemes, and jeopardise the future pension payments of their workers. Unfortunately, the Government has done nothing to prevent this.
"Indeed, Government policy has in some cases facilitated it. For example, as a result of Fine Gael and Labour's State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014, retired members of the superannuation scheme (IASS) lost six weeks of their annuity and long-standing deferred members lost up to 60% of their pension entitlements.
"This Fianna Fáil Bill has the capacity to go some way towards undoing some of the actions taken over the last five years.
“Having worked in the pensions sector for 15 years before entering politics, I intend to continue on this course of trying to protect workers' and pension scheme members' rights and trying to ensure that unscrupulous employers will not remove people's pension rights and the benefits they have built up over time. I also intend to continue fighting for redress for people such as the airport who lost up to 60% of their pension benefits.
“The massive ramifications faced by these 15,000 families across the country must not be inflicted on any more pension scheme members. I remain committed to fighting on this issue, providing more protection and rowing back on some of the retrograde steps that were taken over the past five years,"