I have not had discussions with representatives of retired public service workers in relation to this matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, the talks leading up to the recent Labour Relations Commission proposals for a Public Service Agreement 2013 – 2016 took place between Government officials representing the State as employer, and staff representatives, principally the Public Services Committee of the ICTU, representing public servants. The talks and draft Agreement did not encompass public service pensioners and their pension entitlements.
As referred to in the Labour Relations Commission proposals document, separately to the planned pay and productivity measures for existing public servants, the Government has decided to legislate for certain changes in respect of public service pensions. These changes are not part of the draft Public Service Agreement, and were not proposed by the Labour Relations Commission.
While I acknowledge the contribution made by public service pensioners to the fiscal consolidation process, to date, the changes now proposed are an important burden sharing element in the Government's progress towards a restoration of the country's economic sustainability, to that end my officials intend to meet with the Alliance of Retired Public Servants in the coming weeks.