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Munster questions whether CIÉ deliberately underfunded pension schemes to have them declared insolvent

22 February, 2018 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport, Imelda Munster TD has today raised serious questions regarding concerns about the solvency of CIÉ pension schemes.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy Munster raised the matter of a letter sent to the PAC by the Pensions Authority confirming that in 2009 it informed CIÉ that its workers pensions schemes were no longer in compliance with statutory instruments.

Despite this, the Pensions Authority allowed CIÉ to ignore its statutory requirements and gave it permission to keep its workers’ pension schemes in deficit.

Deputy Munster said:

“There are three main questions to be answered here, and I put these questions to Minister Simon Harris in the Dáil this afternoon.

“Firstly, does the Pensions Authority have the power to overrule a statutory instrument, or is a Ministerial Order required to do this?

“Secondly, is CIÉ deliberately under-funding its defined pension schemes in order to have them declared insolvent by the Pensions Authority?

“And finally, will the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017 give the Pensions Authority greater power to protect defined pension schemes?"

Minister Simon Harris responded to Deputy Munster indicating that he will raise the matter with Minister for Employment and Social Affairs Regina Doherty.

Deputy Munster said:

“I had previously requested that the Minister for Transport and unions appear at the Transport Committee to discuss the matter. That meeting is scheduled for 7th March. 

"In the meantime I have asked Minister for Transport Shane Ross for a meeting on this matter seeking clarity on the questions I put in the Dáil today.”

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