We have previously written to the Department of Culture to protest about this. This follow up letter was sent today.
RTE RETIRED STAFF ASSOCIATION
email@example.com PO Box 12250 Dublin 16
Nov 2nd 2021
Dear Minister Martin,
You are aware of our concerns regarding RTE’s application to change the regulations of the RTÉ Superannuation Scheme so as to transfer assets from the the fund each year to pay for the administrative costs of the scheme. We have previously informed you of the fact that it is in breach of the Trust Deed to change the regulations to enable the scheme assets to be transferred to the employer. This would be a breach of Trust Law.
One of the underlying motivations behind the RTÉ application is undoubtedly the fact that the administrative costs are likely to rise substantially in the future because of new regulations introduced by the EU (IORP 11) and transposed into law in this country.
The Irish Association of pension funds have pointed out this increased cost burden coming down the tracks. To what extent have considerations by your Department and NewEra taken into account these extra costs and their impact to potentially “undermine efforts to increase and improve pension provision.?”
“It is clear that implementation of the draft Code will lead to additional costs for schemes which will ultimately be borne by employers or members Schemes (sic) have already seen significant increases in compliance costs in recent years as a result of new requirements such as ECB reporting, and further increases in the regulatory fees have also been flagged. These additional costs undermine efforts to increase and improve pension provision.”
(Response to the Pensions Authority’s Draft Code of Practice for Trustees of Occupational Pension Schemes from the Irish Association of Pension Funds)
As pensioners who have contributed to a pension fund for 40 years we find it astonishing that the pensioners have been excluded from a secretive decision-making process which includes your Department, NewEra and the scheme sponsor RTÉ. This procedure permits of no consultation, no appeal and no explanation – RTÉ excepted. We know of no other public decision making process where citizens’ legally earned income can be requisitioned without ANY right to consultation or appeal.
We will undertake whatever legal remedy is appropriate (judicial review and/or injunction) to ensure that fair procedures are followed and that RTÉ pensioners cannot be dismissively treated in a cavalier and profoundly unjust manner.
Final point: RTÉ pensioners have not had a pension increase since 2008. There is no entitlement to the state old age pension which has been increased regularly in the intervening period. RTÉ and the Pension Trustees have made a request last January for a 2% increase in pension payments. They supplied your Department with detailed financial evidence to support the affordability of this increase. RTÉ pensioners have received all the increases in line with public sector pensions since the foundation of the scheme. There is significant correspondence and documentation to support the contention that RTÉ pensioners have been guaranteed the awarding of such increases. The request for this increase has been with your Department since last January. How can your Department justify such a failure in effective public administration?
We would not countenance any situation whereby pensioners were denied pension increases in any year, at a time when the Employer was taking funds from the scheme to cover costs which have never been imposed on the scheme assets since it commenced in 1960.