The Programme for Partnership Government commits the current administration to fully restore pensions for retired public servants by 2021 and the Alliance is looking to bring this timeline forward.
On average about 4,000 retired public servants die each year so if the current completion date of 2021 for full restoration is stuck with, then over 40,000 people will have died by that time on reduced pensions – pensions that they contributed to during their working lives. This is why, we think it’s only fair that the Government should bring forward the date from 2021.
The justice of ARPS’s case for accelerated pension restoration was publicly acknowledged by the previous Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, on his last day in office in 2016 and the Alliance has had some constructive engagements on the matter with Minister Paschal Donohoe. And his officials
Another issue the Alliance wants tackled by the Government is the position of pensioners on low pensions – those on €12,000 or less which equates to a weekly payment of just over €230 per week – who did not have their pensions cut, but who haven’t had an increase since 2007.
Over the 10-year period since 2007, prices – particularly the costs of healthcare, energy and heating which are important items for older people – have risen placing an undue strain on very modest incomes. In this context, the Alliance is asking that the Government agrees to increasing those pensions.
The Alliance is also seeking the putting in place of a formal process of engagement between pensioners’ representatives and the Government in the period ahead. Workers in the private and public sectors have access to formal processes for engaging with their employers about their pay and conditions, including access to third party processes – like the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court – who can be asked to intervene where agreement can’t be found.
Retired public servants are looking to have similar formal processes put in place so that we are involved in negotiating improvements to our own terms and conditions and given access to third party processes as well to help resolve difficulties if they arise.