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.

Category: News | Tags:

Slándáil 2020 – National Security Summit Ireland

Slándáil 2020 is Ireland’s inaugural National Security Summit connecting government, industry, academia and civil society.

The Summit will be held in ‘The Helix’ Dublin on 25 and 26 February.  The speakers include the newly appointed Director of the National Security Analysis Centre, Mr. Dermot Woods, and the Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM. 

The Director of Slándáil Dr Gerry Waldron (ARCO member) has kindly extended an invitation to ARCO’s membership to the seminar.

Using the promotional code ‘ARCO2020’ ARCO members can register for complimentary passes at the following link https://nvite.com/slandail/ede85

Further details, including the programme can be obtained from the same link.

The formal invitation can be downloaded HERE:

ARCO’s submission to the Department of An Taoiseach on the National Security Strategy can be downloaded HERE:

The Dublin Airport Clayton hotel is offering conference rates for delegates staying overnight. A rate of 95 euro B&B is available by emailing reservations.dublinairport@claytonhotels.com


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Retirement – Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran

Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran, Assistant Chief of Staff, retires from the Defence Forces on the 6th of February 2020. During his long and distinguished career, Brigadier General O’Halloran served in a wide range of appointments, both at home and overseas.

A retirement function to mark Brigadier General O’Halloran’s retirement will be held in the Officers’ Mess, Custume Barracks, Athlone, on Thursday, 6th February 2020 at 1600hrs. His many friends and colleagues in ARCO will wish to be associated with this occasion.

Those attending are requested to notify the Mess Secretary, at 090 6421272 NLT Friday, 31st January 2020.

Military Service Allowance

Arising from the Public Sector Pay Commission, the rate of Military Service Allowance was increased w.e.f. 04 July 2019.

Following an ARCO submission, dated 30 July 2019, ARCO was advised by the Private Secretary to the Minister, in a letter dated 10 December 2019, that the MSA increase would be reflected in military pensions of personnel retiring on or after 04 July 2019.

ARCO submitted an interim response on 16 December 2019.

In the context of the wider Defence Forces Community, please find attached a covering letter with the associated annex, advancing the case that the MSA increase should be applied, as appropriate, to the military pensions of Defence Forces personnel who retired prior to 03 July 2019, and to those of eligible spouses or civil partners.  Both documents were sent through An Post to all recipients on 15 January 2020.

ARCO strongly contends that a decision not to apply the MSA increase to military pensions already in payment would be inconsistent with the Government’s stated policy to: “Support our veterans for the public service and outstanding contribution they have made to the State”.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

2020 General Election


The General Election on Saturday, 08 February provides ARCO with ample opportunities:

  • To inform election candidates of the absolute need to promote the rights, interests, quality of life, services, and welfare of retired officers, and eligible spouses or civil partners, and
  • To advocate for the Defence Forces, including its personnel, its veterans, and the families of serving personnel.


Key Lobbying Issues – Manifestos – Programme for Incoming Government

Considering ARCO’s aim and objectives, the Executive Committee will take cognisance of the Manifestos and Commitments of all Political Parties, Political Alliances, and Independents participating in this election, and, in particular, the Programme for the incoming Government.

Accordingly, during the election campaign, ARCO’s members should focus on the following issues:

  • Pensions: Repeal of FEMPI, Statutory based Pension Parity, Negotiation Rights for Pensioners, Application of Increase in MSA for Military Pensions in Payment.
  • Defence: Veterans’ Policy, Establishment of an independent, statutory based, and permanent Commission on Defence.
  • Welfare: Fair Deal, Medical Card, Household Package.


Independent Candidate – Kildare South Constituency

Commandant Cathal Berry (Retd) is running as an Independent candidate in the Kildare South Constituency.  “Defence Forces Families” is one of Cathal’s election priorities, reflecting the views of the extended Defence Forces Community, including ARCO.   As a former Defence Forces colleague, and as a member of ARCO, the Executive Committee welcomes Cathal’s decision to put himself before the electorate, and wishes him well.

In the above circumstances, in solidarity with serving personnel and their respective families, the Executive Committee recommends that ARCO’s membership actively supports, as appropriate, Cathal’s candidacy as an Independent for Dáil Éireann.

A member of the 72 Cadet Class, on commissioning in 1997, Cathal was appointed to the Infantry Corps.  His service included postings in the 5 Infantry Battalion, Cadet School, Army Ranger Wing and in the Medical Corps.  Overseas service included tours of duty in the Balkans, Lebanon and Chad.

For more information, please visit Cathal’s website:  www.cathalberry.ie

You may download a PDF copy of this notification here.

Executive Committee – 16 January 2020

Category: News | Tags: ,

ARCO’s Submission – National Security Strategy

Under the auspices of the National Security Analysis Centre, the Government is proposing to develop a National Security Strategy.  A public consultation process took place from 05 December through 31 December,

ARCO made a formal submission to the Department of An Taoiseach on 28 December, which is attached along with the covering letter

Whereas a wide range of security issues falling under the domain of defence are discussed in ARCO’s submission, the format follows the order of the four questions circulated by the National Security Analysis Centre on 05 December:

  • Principle Threats (Risks) to Ireland’s National Security,
  • National Security Strategic Goals (Objectives),
  • Relevance of Traditional National Security Policies and Approaches, and
  • Required Strategic Capabilities Approaches (Means).

Defence Forces Year in Review 2019

Happy New Year to all members of ARCO and to the wider Defence Forces Community.

The Defence Forces have complied a comprehensive end of year review of their Operational, Training and Educational Activities for 2019, both at home and overseas.

To download the Review, circulated by the Defence Forces Press Officer, please click here.

Category: News | Tags: ,

ARCO’s Christmas Greetings

ARCO’s Officers and Executive Committee extend Christmas Greetings to its members, to their extended families, and to those who supported the Association in the advancement of its objectives during 2019.  

Le gach dea-ghuí don Nollaig agus don Athbhliain

 With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Category: News, Uncategorized | Tags:

White Paper Three Yearly Update – December 2019

ARCO’s submission in October 2013 informed the consultation process during the elaboration of the White Paper on Defence.  ARCO actively participated in a symposium hosted by the Minister for Defence in May 2015.

The White Paper on Defence was approved by Government in July 2015.  Paragraph 7.7 of the White Paper on Defence includes the following statement: “there is scope during the currency of the White Paper to further develop the supports available to existing personnel and veterans.”

ARCO remains proactive in ensuring the implementation of the Government’s policy on veterans’ affairs, in particular the White Paper projects 51 and 59.

In order to provide momentum in advancing this process, on 05 December 2018, ARCO, IUNVA and ONE formally submitted a Combined Veterans’ Strategy to the Minister with responsibility for Defence.

In addition to pension related issues, ARCO has strongly recommended the implementation of one of the key recommendations of the Combined Veterans’ Strategy namely the establishment of a joint Office for Veterans’ Affairs, consisting of personnel from the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces.

ARCO continues to advocate the absolute requirement to articulate and institutionalise an inclusive and comprehensive Government’s Veterans’ Policy.  

The White Paper on Defence 2015 provides for a three yearly cycle of reviews.

Following Government approval, on 12 December, the Minister with responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, has published the first of these reviews titled White Paper on Defence – Update 2019.  Section 5.9 (page 63 of 122) relates to veterans.

Since the publication of the White Paper in 2015, a total of 95 separate projects have been identified for completion over a ten-year period, 42 of which have been initiated and 15 have been closed, vide Annex C of the Review.   

The Review can be downloaded here.

Category: News | Tags:

Application of Pension Increases & Restoration – November 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform:  Information Note

ARCO is a proactive member of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants.

Following a request from the Alliance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has provided an Information Note in relation to the amelioration of the Public Service Pension Reduction, and the application of the pension increase policy.

Whereas the substance of the Information Note has already been directly and indirectly conveyed to ARCO’s membership, the summary contained in this document will be of interest to all.

The Information Note can be downloaded here.


ARCO:  Military Service Allowance submission

On 31 October, ARCO made a comprehensive submission to the Minister with Responsibility for Defence regarding the application of the increase in Military Service Allowance to military pensions.

This Submission can be downloaded here.


Public Service Pay Commission:  Allowances & Rates of Pay – 01 September 2019

For Officers paying Class A PRSI: Link to current Rates of Pay and MSA

For Officers paying Class C PRSI: Link to current Rates of Pay and MSA

For all Officers: Link to revised Allowances arising from the Public Service Pay Commission’s Report w.e.f. 04 July


Department of Defence:  Payment of December Pensions

Military pensions will be paid on 19 December.

Department of Defence:  Queries

Queries on Defence Forces pensions should, in the first instance, be referred to:

  • PSSC Helpdesk, Payroll Shared Service Centre, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, H91 AN2E.
  • Telephone: 076 1002 702.
  • Email militarypensions@pssc.gov.ie.


Queries on Defence Forces pension terms or entitlements should in the first instance, be referred to:

  • Pensions Administration Section, Finance Branch, Department of Defence, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, H91 AN2E.
  • Telephone: 091 743 900, or Lo-Call 1890-426444 (extension 3900).
  • Email pensions.admin@defence.ie



November 2019

Category: Pensions, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Overview of our 2019 AGM

The Association’s 25th AGM took place in McKee Barracks, Dublin on 04 October, with the kind permission of the military authorities.  The draft minutes will be circulated, in due course.

To view a Report on the AGM download here.

Officers’ Reports

Reports were presented by the President, Brig Gen Paul Pakenham (Retd), the Hon Secretary: Lt Col Joe Ahern (Retd), the Hon Treasurer: Lt Col Richard Cummins (Retd) and the Hon Membership Secretary: Col Richard Heaslip (Retd).  All reports, including the audited accounts for the period ended 31 July 2019, were unanimously adopted.

To view the President’s Report please download here.


ARCO’s Officers, Regional Representatives, Trustees and Honorary Auditor were unanimously elected for the coming 12 months. 

Executive Committee Motions

The following motions were unanimously adopted:

  • Motion 1 – Aim and Objectives: Within ARCO’s Rules, insert a new Rule 2A titled Aim, and replace the existing Rule 2 titled Objectives, with new Rule 2 titled Objectives.
  • Motion 2 – Subscription: The annual subscription will be increased by €5 from €25 to €30.
  • Motion 3 – Tenure of Office: Within ARCO’s Rules, delete the final sub paragraph in Rule 13 and insert a new Rule 14A titled Tenure of Office.


Aim and Revised Objectives

Building on its ethos, values and accomplishments, and with a willingness to change, the Aim and revised Objectives allow ARCO to substantially change its posture, whilst remaining representative, relevant, and viable, in order to safeguard its future.

To read the Aim and revised Objectives, please download here.


The Rules now incorporate a new paragraph “2A Aims”, an amended paragraph “2 Objectives”, and a new paragraph “14A Tenure of Office”, as adopted by the 25th AGM convened in McKee Barracks, on 04 October 2019.

To read the Rules, please download here, or visit the Rules Section on the Website.

Category: AGM | Tags:
Association of Retired Commissioned Officers