Letter to Irish Times January 23rd 2020

Dear Sir,

I am one of thousands of retired semi state employees who spent their lives working for the state. ESB, Bord na Mona, RTE, Bord Gais etc etc. Most of us have no state pension. We were not allowed to pay the appropriate PRSI stamp because we all contributed to our respective Defined Benefit Superannuation Schemes. With the financial collapse in 2008, most of these Schemes stopped any increase in pensions, not unreasonably. In addition, the Noonan levy reduced our pensions by over 2% – in perpetuity in most cases. In 2018, the scheme of which I am a member decided after years of careful management and the best of actuarial advice to recommend a very small increase of 1%. It was decreed in law that such an increase had to be approved by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Almost two years have passed. The scheme is in excellent health and well able to afford the increase. Now, almost 12 years since our last increase in pension and almost 2 years since the application went to Government, Fine Gael has blocked this payment without explanation. Many of my colleagues are very elderly with very modest pensions – their own deferred salaries in effect. Our money. No cost to the public purse. Since 2008, the state pension has increased by 16%. Ours has decreased by over 2%. A proud record.

Yours.

Tony O’Connor

Dublin 16.