To ask the Minister for Transport if he has received a recent report regarding the grievances of the Retired Aviation Staff Association; if he will meet with the association with a view to resolving its member's pension grievances; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Denis Naughten.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 9th October, 2002.
Ref No: 16689/02
Answered by Minister for Transport
The case made by the retirees' association was forwarded by my predecessor Mary O'Rourke, for consideration, to the Minister for Finance, who has overall responsibility for pension matters in the public sector. The contents of his reply were communicated to the retirees Association in October 2001.
In summary, the Minister for Finance does not consider that it would be appropriate to accede to the request from the Retired Aviation Staff Association for an Exchequer injection into the pension fund and that there must be continued adherence to the long standing policy in this area i.e. that pension entitlements for employees of commercial State Bodies which includes Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta are matters primarily for the Trustees, the members of the relevant scheme and the companies involved.
I have been advised that neither Aer Lingus nor Aer Rianta are in a position to provide additional annual payments into the pension fund to meet the claim by the retirees association. I understand that both companies have been meeting all of their liabilities towards the pension fund in accordance with the rules of the scheme.