Category Archives: Pensions

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

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

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.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Information Needs

Members of ARCO will have information needs, from time to time, in relation to a wide range of areas that come under the responsibility of state and other bodies. These include social welfare benefits, education grants, the administration of a deceased person’s estate, tax and investment issues, marriage and other relationships, consumer rights, pensions, domestic charges etc.

The most effective way of getting information on these issues is through the Citizens Information Board.  This organisation provides information on public services and entitlements in Ireland through its website, www.citizensinformation.ie, which contains comprehensive information on these matters, and more. 

You can also phone the Citizens Information Phone Service at 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, or visit your local Citizens Information Centre.

Relate, the journal on developments in social services, policy and legislation in Ireland, is published by the Citizens Information Board. If you would like to receive Relate by email you can subscribe by sending an email with the subject line SUBSCRIBE to relate@ciboard.ie, including your name.

Category: News, Pensions | Tags: ,

DUBLIN REGIONAL MEETING – Alliance of Retired Public Servants

The Alliance of Retired Public Servants (ARPS), of which ARCO is a member, has held a number of meetings with senior officials of key Government Departments on pension issues. Regional Meetings are being held countrywide by the ARPS Executive Committee to update retired Public Service Pensioners on these issues.

The Dublin Regional Meeting will take place on Monday, 22nd February, at 2 pm in Wynn’s Hotel, Abbey Street, Dublin 2.

ARCO Members are encouraged to show their support by attending this meeting.

Payment of December’s Pension

We have been informed by the Department of Defence that December's Pension Cheque will be lodged to members' bank accounts on Friday, 18 December 2015.

 

Category: Pensions | Tags:

LATEST UPDATE – Payroll Shared Service Centre

ARCO recently met with Department of Defence (DoD) officials to discuss the introduction of the Payroll Shared Service Centre (PSSC). At this meeting it was announced that the PSSC has been established and will assume responsibility for pension payments from this October.

ARCO members will be aware from previous postings that the PSSC, which is a Government initiative administered by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, aims to consolidate and integrate payrolls from the 18 payroll centres currently delivering this service to 53 Departments and Offices. All DoD payrolls – including those for retired military personnel in receipt of pensions – will now migrate to the PSSC.

DoD will write to all pensioners in September outlining how it proposes to manage the move and how it will impact on pensioners. DoD personnel directly involved in pension and salary payments will transfer to the PSSC but will remain based in Galway. The PSCC helpdesk will operate from Killarney and will deal with general pension queries for all public service pensioners. Galway will, however, continue to deal with queries in relation to what DoD terms ‘pension entitlements’.  Pensioners will have the opportunity of opting to view their pension slips and P60 on line and printing them off where necessay. Where pensioners do NOT opt for this system the pension slip will continue, as before, to come through the letterbox every month.

ARCO remains concerned in relation to:

  • The difficulties further moves towards online pension services could present for some ARCO members.
  • The potential confusion that could result from having dual points-of-contact to deal with pension related queries.
  • The fact that civil servants, with no previous knowledge or background in matters specific to Defence Forces' pensions, could eventually become responsible for administering military pension accounts.
 
Members should forward any observations they might have on the matter.
 

Pensions

The Executive Committee of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers has considered the recent statement by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to the government’s decision to commence the restoration of Public Service Pension Reductions.

ARCO congratulates the Alliance of Retired Public Servants in achieving this on behalf of its members. While acknowledging this as a step in the right direction, ARCO is aware that the objective of the full restoration of service pensions remains to be achieved. 

This, along with negotiating rights for public service pensioners and a strategy to address the need for real pension increases will continue to be the guiding principle for the Alliance, of which ARCO is a founding member.

Pension Restoration

Following on from consultations with representatives of The Alliance of Retired Public Servants, of which ARCO is a member, the Government has announced an easing in Public Service Pension Reductions.

The changes provide for some restoration of pension income on a phased basis over three years as follows:

1 January 2016 – return of €400 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners

1 January 2017 – return of €500 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners

1 January 2018 – return of €780 to most PSPR-impacted pensioners

The full statement on the matter from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform may be read here.

css.php