Retired public servants “voiceless” on cuts

Pensions of €32,500 face reductions under proposals for new Croke Park agreement

Retired staff with pensions of €32,500 or more face cuts under the new Croke Park proposals. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Retired staff with pensions of €32,500 or more face cuts under the new Croke Park proposals. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mon, Apr 1, 2013, 14:13

Retired public service staff have said they have been left “voiceless” in relation to plans by the Government to reduce pensions under the proposed new Croke Park agreement.

The Alliance of Retired Public Servants expressed concern at the failure by the Government to respond to requests for an input into decisions associated with the proposed new Croke Park deal to cut public service pensions.

Retired staff with pensions of €32,500 or more face cuts under the new Croke Park proposals.

A spokesman for the Alliance of Retired Public Servants, Seán Ó Riordáin, said yesterday that if the normal pension rules were followed, surviving spouses’ pensions as low as €16,125 per annum would also be cut.

He said there was no agreement or binding arrangement that meant that pensions had to be reduced when pay was cut.

He said the concept of pay parity was understood to mean that pensions would rise if pay increased. He added that reducing pensions was never agreed or even thought about.

Mr Ó Riordáin said that retired public service staff were “voiceless” in the current process.

He said there was an assumption that unions spoke for retired personnel.

Mr Ó Riordáin said: “The majority of the pensioners involved joined the public service in the 50s and early 60s and worked through difficult years in the development of the modern Irish State. They are now in their 70s, in declining years and health, often supporting spouses.

“At an income level of €32,500 they will already have suffered one pension cut and be liable for a universal social charge of €1,593 before paying income tax, property charges or water charges, whereas a private sector pensioner at the same income level (receiving an occupational pension of €9,796.80 and a State pension of €22,703 for self and spouse) will pay no universal social charge.”

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