Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions (25)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

25. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the pension deficit difficulties now facing Coillte; his plans to deal with this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13943/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Coillte Teoranta was established as a private commercial company under the Forestry Act, 1988. There are currently two Pension Funds in Coillte, namely, the Coillte No. 1 Fund which exists to finance superannuation benefits in respect of service of Coillte employees since vesting day, 1 January 1989, and the Coillte No. 2 Fund for Pre-Vesting Day Service, that is, pre 1 January 1989. Information on the types of pension schemes currently operated by Coillte and their respective deficits/surpluses are as stated in the Company’s Annual Report 2012, copies of which were laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas at the end of July 2013.

The defined benefit Coillte Teoranta No. 1 Fund Superannuation Scheme, which I understand has some 2,000 members, is currently the subject of legal action. I understand that the legal action, which is being heard in the Commercial Court, was adjourned last Thursday (20th March 2014) and that the matter has been listed for mention on 22 May 2014.

As the legal proceedings have not concluded, it is not appropriate for me to comment further on this matter at this stage. It should be noted that the Coillte Pension Fund in question is managed and under the control of Trustees appointed to manage the Fund.