The RTÉRSA have made many submissions to a very wide variety of public representatives and all Government Ministers on this disgraceful matter. We have met with Dail Committees and leaders of most political parties. I have to say that the most helpful politician has been Brid Smith who raised the delay in payment at the Dail Committee looking into the future of RTÉ. We subsequently wrote to Patricia Cronin Ass. Sec. General Dept Communication etc. More bland procrastination as a reply. I am pleased that the RTÉ Superannuation Trustees have issued a very clear statement on the matter. For those who may not have seen it, here it is. While respecting everyone’s right to vote in the forthcoming election according to conscience, one has to ask has the present government party respected our rights as Semi State pensioners.
RTÉ SUPERANNUATION SCHEME – RTÉSA
IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM YOUR TRUSTEES FOR MEMBERS OF THE RTÉ DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SCHEME
Under the Regulations of the RTÉSA, pension increases must first be recommended by RTÉ, the scheme sponsor, for the decision of the Minister for Communication, Climate Action & Environment * and then requiring the subsequent approval of the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform**.
In April 2018, upon the completion of the December 2017 Actuarial Valuation of the scheme, the Trustees held detailed consultations with both the Scheme Actuary (Mercer & Co) and with a separate independent firm of Actuaries (Joseph Byrne & Sons). Based on the professional actuarial and financial advice received the Trustees wrote to RTÉ recommending that an increase be awarded to pensioners given both the very healthy financial condition of the scheme, as independently assessed by experienced professionals, and given that no increases of any kind had been awarded to pensioners for over 10 years.
In Summer 2018 RTÉ, as sponsor, wrote to the DCCAE and requested ministerial permission to allow the Trustees to implement this small award. To date, no approval has been received.
The December 2018 Actuarial Valuation was completed in March 2019 and supplied to DCCAE. It again confirmed the strong actuarial and financial position of the scheme.
After waiting for 18 months, and not having heard from the Department Officials, in August 2019 the Trustees took the initiative and requested an appointment with Officials from both DCCAE & DPER with a view to understanding what was causing the inordinate delay and seeking to provide any additional information in the unlikely event that any could reasonably be required. That request was granted with Officials from New ERA, acting for DCCAE, also attending.
The Department Officials did ask for re-submission of information all of which had already been supplied previously in one form or another. Nonetheless, this re-stated information was provided at the beginning of September 2019 having been prepared and reviewed by various independent actuaries. It continues to fully support the granting of the pension increase and confirms the ability of the scheme to finance it.
Now, 5 months later in January 2020 the Trustees still have not been informed as to whether the increase has been approved and there has been no communication of any kind with the Trustees during that period.