Category Archives: Pensions

ARCO Subscriptions

ARCO members who paid their annual subscription by pension deduction in March will see a further deduction of €25 for ARCO in their April pension cheque. This additional deduction was caused by an administrative error on our part and Pensions’ Section will refund it in the May pension cheque. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

GALWAY REGIONAL MEETNG – 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 Galway Regional Meeting will take place on Monday, 20th April at 7.30 pm, at the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, County Galway. 

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

CORK 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 Cork Regional Meeting will take place on Monday, 23rd March at 7.30 pm, at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Rochestown Road, Cork. 

Tea/coffee will be available from 7 pm. The meeting will be held in the Estuary Suite.

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

To read the Latest Alliance Newsletter please click HERE

Category: Pensions | Tags: , ,

ATHLONE REGIONAL MEETING – Alliance of Retired Public Servants

ARCO Members will be aware that 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 organised countrywide by the ARPS Executive Committee to update retired Public Service Pensioners on these issues. The next Regional Meeting will take place on Monday, 2nd March at 7.30 pm, at the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone.

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

Added 1st March 2015: To read the Latest Alliance Newsletter please click HERE

Category: Pensions | Tags: , ,

People Point

Members of ARCO who have taken up employment in the wider Public Service will be aware that the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan approved the establishment of a HR Shared Service Centre for the Civil Service called PeoplePoint. PeoplePoint is located in Clonskeagh, Dublin and is staffed and managed by Civil Servants. It has taken on the centralised responsibility of managing the routine day-to-day HR functions of the Civil Service.

The PeoplePoint website, which can only be accessed through individual Departments’ own internal websites, includes a section where employees can review their own pension entitlements. This is of particular interest to ARCO members who either joined the Public Service directly after leaving the Defence Forces, or indirectly i.e. first pursued other interests following retirement from the Defence Forces. Feedback from members suggests that some individual’s public service history is not fully recorded.

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

JAN 2015 REGIONAL MEETING – Alliance of Retired Public Servants

ARCO Members will be aware that 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 organised countrywide by the ARPS Executive Committee to update retired Public Service Pensioners on these issues. The next Regional Meeting will take place on Monday 26th January, 7 pm for 7.30 pm, at the Riverside Park Hotel & Leisure Club, The Promenade, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

+353 (0)53 9237800

info@riversideparkhotel.com

All ARCO Members are welcome to attend this meeting.

Category: Pensions | Tags: , , ,

Alliance of Retired Public Servants – DEVELOPMENTS

The Executive Officers of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants (ARPS) have held a number of meetings with senior officials of key Government Departments. Regional Meetings are being organised by the Executive Committee to update retired Public Service Pensioners countrywide. At a Regional meeting held in Limerick on 20th October 2014, the Alliance Chairman, Mr Brian Burke, stated that the main objectives of the Alliance were the restoration of pensions levels, the restoration of parity with salary increases and full negotiating rights for ARPS. There exists a fundamental discrimination between how the USC is applied to public service pensions and to private sector pensions and only marginal change to this was reflected in the recent budget.

While the Haddington Road Agreement contains specific provision for the restoration of salaries for serving public servants, no such formal commitment exists for the restoration of pensions.

Retired public service pensioners have no official negotiation rights and this situation needs to be addressed. The Industrial Relations Acts only deal with “Workers” and do not include or make provision for Public Service Pensioners. The Alliance is at present discussing these and other anomalies with Mr. Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and his staff.

The Alliance is writing to all Party Leaders to urge early restoration of pensions and progress with the USC. It will also write to all Oireachtas and EU Parliament members. Individuals will be encouraged to contact their local TDs.

Further Regional Meetings will be held in the coming months and an information document, outlining the key issues, will be prepared and distributed. ARCO members will be informed of the dates and locations of future meetings and are encouraged to attend these. The next meeting is being provisionally planned for the Wexford/Kilkenny area.

LATEST – Payroll Shared Service Centre

ARCO members will be aware from a previous posting that the Government has decided to establish a Payroll Shared Service Centre (PSSC) for the Civil and Public Service. The PSSC, which will be under the control of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, aims to consolidate and integrate payrolls from the 18 payroll centres currently delivering payroll to 53 Departments and Offices. All Department of Defence payrolls – including those for retired military personnel in receipt of pensions – will be migrated to the PSSC.

ARCO raised the following concerns in relation to PSSC with the Department of Defence earlier this year:

  • The difficulties a move towards online pension services would present for some ARCO members.
  • The need to maintain a named point-of-contact to deal with pension related queries from ARCO members post-migration to PSSC.
  • The fact that civil servants, with no previous knowledge or background in matters specific to Defence Forces pensions, could become responsible for administering military pension accounts.

The latest information provided to ARCO indicates that while the move to establish a PSSC is still progressing, its implementation will be significantly delayed. This is due to unforeseen complications that have arisen and which are taking longer than anticipated to overcome. Pensions’ Section of the Department of Defence has also identified issues and is working to resolve these with the PSSC Project Managers. 

ARCO has been assured that the function of calculating entitlements will remain with the Department of Defence and the facility of contacting those dealing with entitlements will also remain with it. 

The bottom line is that a date for the move to the new system is by no means imminent. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.

BOI – Delays in payments to customers’ accounts

The Department of Finance has issued an update in relation to the problem within Bank of Ireland (BOI) which has led to a delay in payments to customers’ accounts. This has affected parts of the wider public service, including some payments of military pay and pensions.

BOI has informed the Department of Finance that this issue has been resolved. However, because of the Single Euro Payments Area processing timeframes, the affected bank accounts will not be credited until Friday, 1st August 2014.

BOI has informed the Department of Finance that it is working to have payments credited to payee accounts by early Friday morning. This applies to BOI, AIB and Ulster Bank accounts. Other banking institutions, e.g. Permanent TSB and Credit Union accounts will have to go through an additional process and payments will be credited to these accounts later on Friday.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Alliance of Retired Public Servants

ARCO is a member of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants (the Alliance), which was set up in 2013. The Alliance initially sought representation at the Croke Park II discussions. When this was refused a meeting was sought with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., before final decisions were taken by government which could affect the incomes of public service pensioners. This request was repeated when it emerged from the Labour Relations Commission that there were pension cuts associated with Croke Park II.

Representatives of the Alliance finally met with Officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) and subsequently with Mr. Howlin in May 2013. In a follow-up letter Mr. Howlin welcomed moves to formalise the Alliance as a structure that could allow for ongoing engagement with government on public service pension matters. The Minister acknowledged the concerns raised by the delegation on the impact pension reductions were having on retired public servants. It is his intention 'as a matter of priority to move towards reducing the burden of public service reduction, with the initial focus on the people in receipt of low pensions, at the earliest date economic progress permits.'

Membership of the Alliance includes representatives from:

  • Retired Higher Civil & Public Servants (RCPSA)
  • Retired Civil Servants (IMPACT)
  • Retired Teachers’ Unions (RSTI/RMA/TUI/RTAI).
  • Retired Principals & Deputy Principals (NAPD-R)
  • Retired Members of the IMO
  • Retired Members of the Nurses Association of Ireland (RNAI)
  • Retired Prison Officers (ARPO)
  • Retired Members of Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB)
  • Retired City & County Managers (RCCM)
  • Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO)
  • Retired Members of Shannon Development (SDPA)
  • Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association (GSRMA)
  • National Federation of Pensioners Association (NFPA)

The combined membership of these bodies is 75,000. It is estimated there are over one hundred thousand retired public servants. Being part of the Alliance gives ARCO a greater voice in protecting the pensions of its members.

The first Biennial General Meeting (BGM) of the Alliance took place at Westmanstown Sports Centre, Lucan, on 30th January, 2014 where delegates passed the following motions:

The BGM instructs the incoming Council to;

  • Advance the interest of Public Service pensioners by every means at its disposal, recognising that the priority is to protect and restore Public Service Pensions.
  • Maintain close relations with the Trade Unions & Staff Associations involved, and
  • Continue ongoing development of the link with the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

In March 2014 the Alliance wrote to Mr. Howlin seeking a further meeting and stating an exit programme should now be developed which would provide a framework for ending the use of emergency powers to reduce public service pensions. A meeting was held between the Alliance and Officials from the DPER in April. At this meeting the Alliance representatives emphasised that pension issues needed to be dealt with speedily. They also stated that the Alliance wanted representation at future talks. A meeting with the Minister will take place as soon as a structure and a process of engagement has been formulated and agreed between the parties. The Alliance expects this meeting to take place before the end of July.

css.php