Issues in relation to Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) pension schemes are primarily a matter for the Trustees of the pension scheme, the CIÉ Group and their employees.
In a Topical Issues debate in this House on 6 December 2017, I outlined the challenges faced in addressing the solvency of the schemes and the process underway to address the deficit which involves detailed discussion between CIÉ and employee representatives, facilitated by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). I said that CIÉ was on record at the WRC that it would not impose any change that it proposes without the agreement of the active members of both schemes, and also that it would continue to contribute to both schemes in accordance with the rules of the schemes. I am informed that this remains CIÉ's position in order to bring about a set of proposals that could form the basis of the trustees' submission to the Pensions Authority and that it continues to engage with the WRC.
Separately, the Deputy is asking about a decision of the Pensions Committee, which consists of four CIÉ Board appointed members and four employee elected members. The legal structure of CIÉ’s Scheme for management and administrative personnel bestows certain trustee powers and responsibilities on the Committee of this Scheme.
I am informed that a notification issued to members across the CIÉ group following the Committee’s decision on 9 May 2017 concerning early retirement discount factors which came into effect on 1 January 2018. This change was made by the Committee under the Scheme’s rules which clearly attribute this power to the Committee alone without the need to refer or seek approval from the Minister.