Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (207)

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

339 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the result of An Post negotiations with the Communications Workers Union with regard to pay increases to An Post staff pensioners, particularly the non-payment of the 3% increase according to the national agreements; the situation regarding the appointment of a pensioner to the board of trustees of the pensions fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25117/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

Authority to implement pension increases was delegated to An Post by this Department on 26 May 1989. Traditionally, An Post has granted increases to serving staff in line with national pay agreements. Increases to pensioners have subsequently been applied in line with increases granted to serving staff. I am also informed that the terms and conditions, including those regarding the matter of increases, as enshrined in the An Post main superannuation scheme 1990, are based on those that prevailed in the former Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

In regard to serving staff, the company is involved in detailed negotiations with its unions under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, to reach agreement on necessary restructuring in order to return to financial stability. These negotiations have impacted on consideration of increases for An Post pensioners. However, I understand the An Post board and management are reviewing this situation. In light of this review, I feel it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.

With regard to the appointment of a pensioner to the board of trustees of the pensions fund, the An Post superannuation schemes' trust deed sets out that the number of trustees shall be not less than three nor more than seven individuals. The power for appointing new or additional trustees is vested in An Post and I have no function in this. I understand there are seven appointed trustees of the scheme, three representing the members of the schemes, both serving and retired staff, three representing the principal employer and an independent chairman.