Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Public Sector Pensions

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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173. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has received correspondence (details supplied) in relation to an issue relating to the Eircom Superannuation Scheme; if he will set out his function and intentions in relation to a proposal on a 3% increase dated from July 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12069/23]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Eircom Main Superannuation Scheme (as amended) was established by Statute for the purpose of providing for the pension liabilities of staff transferred from the former Department of Posts and Telegraphs to Telecom Éireann on its establishment on 1st January 1984, the Vesting day. The pre-vesting and post vesting liabilities of the scheme members were paid entirely out of the Main Fund until 1996.

Following extensive discussions with the Department of Finance at the time, formal arrangements for payment of the sums due in respect of pre-vesting service were settled between the company, Fund Trustees and that Department. The arrangements involved, inter alia, the establishment of the Eircom No. 2 Fund in 1999 to provide funding towards pre-vesting liabilities while the Main Fund continued to provide only for the post-vesting day liabilities arising.

The provisions of the eircom Superannuation Scheme (Section 10) stipulate that eircom Limited may grant pension increases to members as may be authorised from time to time by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance

Therefore, all pension increases require authorisation at Ministerial level across two Departments; my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (in line with delegated functions).

In October 2022, my Department received a request from the trustees for sanction for an increase of 3%, backdated to 1 July 2022. In order to consider the request, a report was requested from NewERA on the pension increase proposal, which was received at the end of February.

My Department is currently awaiting confirmation of concurrence from the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform to sanction the request, following which the decision will be communicated to the trustees.


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