Proposed Bill – Retired employee rights

RTERSA have been campaigning for Representation & Arbitration rights for retired workers for some years now. Correspondence with successive Governments has fallen on deaf ears. Governments have lacked the political will to initiate change and introduce proper legal protection for pensioners and give them representation rights that they have earned throughout their working lives.

RTE have requested Government permission to transfer the Sponsor’s costs of managing your Superannuation Scheme of up to €1,000,000 pa as a direct levy on your pension fund. See the previous complete article on this website “€1M per annum being levied on our pension scheme without any representation”. We have no legal right to be consulted.

This is but one example of the way in which the law excludes retired staff from their most elementary right to be heard. Your Committee took a leading part in organising other retirement organisations to form one voice. At a presentation in Dail Eireann some time ago we explained our case to a cross section of TDs and Senators.

Happily, Brid Smith and her colleagues in People Before Profit have listened to former workers and have acknowledged their right to defend their pension rights once they retire and to be consulted on any changes that may affect their Pension Schemes and their future financial security. RTERSA would like to commend Brid and her colleagues for the major efforts that they have made in bringing forward legislation in the form of this Bill, (Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers Bill 2021) which will be debated in the Dail on either 30th June or 6th July.

This Bill needs your support and the support of your local TD’s.

We urge all RTE Pensioners to use the document below, send it to your TD’s in your own constituencies asking them for their support for this Bill when Brid Smith brings it before the Dail and to vote in favour of passing this Bill into legislation.


Five reasons you should support the Right to Representation for retired workers.

The Bill (Industrial Relations Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired

Workers Bill 2021) will be debated in the Dail in early July when it is introduced by Brid Smith of People before Profit. It gives a voice to retired workers over what happens to their occupational pension schemes after they have left their employment. At present, thousands of workers who have worked for decades in a company or a semi state find that once they have left their job, any changes that impact their pension schemes can happen with little notice or consultation with them. This Bill will change that.

The Bill will give retired workers and their representative associations the right to go to the WRC when their occupational schemes are affected or there are proposed changes that could affect their benefits. At present, if these changes happen more than six months after a worker has retired they have no rights to access the WRC ; This Bill will change that.

The Bill will give rights to retired workers associations to be consulted when talks between trade unions and employers may have direct effects on their occupational pension schemes. At present, retired workers are not consulted in industrial relations disputes that may have an impact on their pensions ; This Bill will change that.

This Bill will ensure that one position was reserved for retired pensioner members who were standing for elected positions on trustee boards in some circumstances. Retired workers can often struggle to have their voice heard on their scheme’s Trustee Board; no positions are currently reserved for retired members; This Bill will change that.

Retired workers and their associations cannot currently access the WRC, because of the definition of a trade dispute in legislation, this means even where substantial cuts or changes have happened to their pensions, retired workers have no effective forum to seek redress or demand consultation. This Bill will change that.

Retired workers have endured a decade of attacks on their pensions, and all workers are facing further attacks on the very idea of a decent pension when they retire. The right to retire at 66 itself is constantly under pressure from Governments and employers. We believe that pensions are deferred wages, hard won by long struggle of workers and their trade unions in many cases. However, deals between companies and trade unions can result in significant and long-lasting changes to retired workers pension entitlements. Yet, those workers who have often paid into schemes for decades and been active trade union members have no say in those deals and are not even consulted in advance.

This Bill will change that and correct a deep injustice done to all retired workers.

This Retired Workers Rights bill will challenge that and ensure that retired workers and their representative organisations are at the table and recognised when their hard-won pensions are being discussed.

Nothing about us Without us” is the catch cry of many social movements and so it is with retired workers who are asking that you support their right to be represented and able to defend their pensions after they have retired.

Please lend your support to the Bill.