Welcome

Welcome to the Website of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO). ARCO was founded in 1993 and our purpose is to represent retired officers of the Permanent Defence Force of Ireland. We have some 800 members. Our main focus has always been on pension issues and our website enables us to provide members with information on this, along with details on a broad range of issues and events. To communicate effectively with our members we also publish two Newsletters every year, hold an Annual General Meeting in October and have developed a Texting Service.

To be successful, ARCO needs a continuous flow of new members and we urge serving officers, who are about to retire from the Permanent Defence Force, to join. ARCO will provide you with a continuity of representation and information into the future.

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Comdt. Jim O’Brien RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Commandant James (Jim) O’Brien of Tower View Park, Kildare Town, Kildare on Tuesday, 13th June 2017. Deeply regretted by his loving wife, Philomena, son Gerard, daughters Caroline, Siobhán and Ann, brother Pat, sisters Maureen and Reenie, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Rest in peace

Reposing at Mc Wey’s Funeral Home, Abbey View, Kildare Town on Thursday, 15th June from 3 pm with Rosary there at 8 pm. Removal on Friday morning at 10.15 to St. Brigid’s Church, Curragh Camp arriving for Mass at 11 am. Cremation thereafter in Newlands Cross Crematorium. Family flowers only. Donations if desired to St. James’s Hospital Foundation. House private please.

 

Category: Death Notices | Tags: ,

Lt. Col. Jim Roche RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Lieutenant Colonel James (Jim) Roche, Silliot Hill, Kildare Town, Kildare.

Beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away suddenly on Saturday, 10th June, doing what he loved – gardening! Father of the late John. Survived by his loving wife Ita, sons Shane, Gavin and Niall, grandchildren Ben, Tara, Sophia and Clodagh, his brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, Aunt Alice, relatives and friends.

May his gentle soul rest in peace

Reposing at his residence on Wednesday, 14th June, from 4 pm until 8 pm. Removal on Thursday morning at 10.15 am to arrive at St. Brigid’s Parish Church, Kildare Town, for Mass at 11 am, followed by burial in St. Conleth’s Cemetery, Kildare Town. Family flowers only, please.

 

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Understanding the Pension Schemes

ARCO’s Strategy on Pension Related Issues includes relative information on the pension schemes for retired commissioned officers of the Permanent Defence Force.

The Representative Association of Commissioned Officers has kindly provided permission to post its information booklets which provide general information on the four pension schemes that have evolved.

The booklets, prepared by Colonel Brian O’Keeffe (Retd) former General-Secretary of RACO and commissioned by the Irish Pensions and Finance, may be accessed through the following links:

 

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Submissions by ARCO to Government Ministers on Pension Issues

Having already made a comprehensive submission to the Public Service Pay Commission on 03 April, and having published its Strategy on Pension Related Issues on this website, the EXCOM of ARCO made submissions to the:

Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence and the

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform,

on 04 May 2017, in which it took the opportunity to advance its position on the following pension related matters:

  • the valuation of public servants’ pensions,
  • the process of pension restoration under FEMPI,
  • the mechanisms associated with pension abatement,
  • the determination of pension increases, and
  • access to an independent third party mechanism for pension related issues.

These additional submissions may be accessed by clicking on the respective Minister’s titles above. Again, the EXCOM welcomes feedback on these documents.

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

ARCO’s Strategy on Pension Related Issues – May 2017

The Public Service Pay Commission is expected to submit its report to Government in May 2017. Talks on public service pay will follow. In parallel, the Government will focus on significant pension reform for State employees. A commitment to reverse the public service pension deductions by 2021 is provided for in the Programme for a Partnership Government. In the interim, corrections in pensions are reflected in the amelioration process on 01 January 2016, 01 January 2017, and 01 January 2018. Beyond the process of pension restoration and pay negotiations, it is likely the Government will further address the adjustment of the value of public service pensions by means of pay or other linkages.

During active service and in retirement, ARCO’s membership made a significant financial contribution in the delivery of unprecedented savings across the public service. In the current financial climate, 2021 as a possible date for the full restoration of pensions is unwarranted and unfair. The value of pensions should be protected, and an appropriate independent third party mechanism is necessary to address pension anomalies and entitlements.

In this context, the EXCOM has developed a comprehensive Strategy on pension related issues. The Strategy provides relevant information, outlines ARCO’s position on specific subjects and prescribes the associated implementation process. The objective is to inform ARCO’s membership on evolving pension issues and to provide the EXCOM with material for use in submissions to external stakeholders.

Subjects addressed include: Valuation of Public Service Pensions, Pension Restoration, Pension Abatement, Provision for Pension Increases, and Independent Third Party Mechanism.

Each section contains relevant information, statistics, and constructive analysis. Within key sections, both the Government’s position and ARCO’s approach to address specific issues are outlined. For ease of reference, ARCO’s position on all issues is consolidated in Annex ‘A’. Annex ‘B’ provides an Aide Memoire (TACAID) of key lobbying issues.

Availing of the information contained within the Implementation Section and Annex B, members are encouraged to be actively engaged in the lobbying process. Feedback on the Strategy will be welcomed by the EXCOM.

Following on from its submission to the Pay Commission, the EXCOM made submissions to the Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on 04 May 2017. These additional submissions will be posted on the website, in due course.

Link to Strategy

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Submission to the Public Service Pay Commission

Public Service Pay Commission. On 18 October 2016, the Government approved the establishment of an independent Public Service Pay Commission to advise it on public service pay. The Commission will shortly provide an initial report to Government on public service remuneration in the context of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009 – 2015. In its findings the Commission will take account of the superannuation and other benefits that apply in the public service and will consider the issue of public service pensions in the context of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s pension evaluation. The inclusion of the value of Public Service Pensions in the determination of the Commission’s findings will have major implications for future levels of pay in the Public Service and will impact significantly on how pensions are calculated.

ARCO’s Submission. On 03 April 2017, ARCO made a substantial submission to the Commission, advancing its concerns on the mechanism used for calculating the value of public service pensions and conveying the Association’s position on the process of pension restoration under FEMPI. ARCO’s submission also addressed the determination of pension increases, existing pension anomalies, and access to an independent third party mechanism by retired public servants. The EXCOM welcomes feedback on the submitted document.

LINK to ARCO’s submission

PENSIONS

On 03 April, ARCO made a formal submission to the Public Service Pay Commission on pension related issues. A STRATEGY ON PENSION RELATED ISSUES, drafted by a Working Group, will be presented for approval by the EXCOM on 21 April. Subsequently, the Strategy will be made available to the membership by means of the Association’s website. In the interim, the Alliance of Retired Public Servants has circulated a Toolkit as a guidance document in lobbying politicians on key issues such as the restoration of pensions.

At both national and local level, the lobbying process will target political stakeholders, especially Government Ministers, their respective advisors, and members of the Oireachtas, Councils and County Councils. 

Link to Alliance’s Lobbying Toolkit.

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Retirement Lunches

The following are details of upcoming lunches to mark the retirement of three officers of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Members of ARCO may wish to attend the lunches or forward best wishes. Please note that subscriptions will not be sought as part of these functions. The lunches, however, must be booked in advance with the respective Offices’ Mess and members should arrange to discharge the cost of their lunch with the Mess concerned.

Colonel Brian Dowling. A lunch will be held on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 47 years’ service, of Colonel Brian Dowling, the former Director of Ordnance. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, Ceannt Barracks, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh.  Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify Captain Eddie Mac Sweeney, the Mess Secretary at eddie.macsweeney@defenceforces.ie, 045 445006 or 045 445061, NLT 1630hrs on Thursday, 9 March, 2017.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy O’Neill. A lunch will be held on Thursday, 16 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 47 years’ service, of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy O’Neill of the Ordnance Corps. The lunch will take place at 1300hrs for 1330hrs in the Officers’ Mess Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at patrickt.ryan@defenceforces.ie or the Mess Sgt at maitiu.oaimhirnghin@defenceforces.ie 01 8046460 or 01 8046355, NLT 1630hrs on Monday, 13 March, 2017.  

Colonel Conor Fitzsimons. A lunch will be held on Thursday, 30 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 42 years’ service, of Colonel Conor Fitzsimons of the Artillery Corps. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, McKee Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at angela.lyons@defenceforces.ie, 01 8046194 or Captain Barry Jones, Liaison Officer at barry.jones@defenceforces.ie, 01 8046885, NLT 1630hrs on Friday, 24 March 2017.

Category: Events, Retirements | Tags:

Report – ARCO Wreath Laying Ceremony

A great turnout of members on Friday, 7th October, 2016 for the Wreath laying Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance. The following is a link to the Irish Times report of the event: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/defence-forces-rescue-of-migrants-praised-at-1916-commemoration-ceremony-1.2823580

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The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000

 

On 15 September, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, Minister responsible for Defence, launched The College: The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000, by Colonel Tom Hodson, in Collins Barracks Dublin.

Since its establishment in 1930, the Irish Military College has had a vital influence, not only on the Defence Forces, but on the nation itself.  In his book Colonel Hodson, a former instructor in the Military College and a graduate of École de Guerre, Paris, recounts how from its early predecessor, the Army School of Instruction, the Military College has repeatedly re-invented itself, culminating in the requirement for this modern institution to embrace and impart instruction based on the needs of today’s Irish Defence Forces.

The College is published by the History Press Ireland and is available from bookshops and online at: http://www.thehistorypress.ie/The-College__p-708.aspx

Category: Events | Tags: ,
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