CIE Group pension schemes could leave 10,000 pensioners in crisis
Written by Theo Andrew
The CIE Group of companies is facing an €80m pension scheme deficit which could leave up to 10,000 pensioners in crisis.
Fianna Fail’s welfare spokesman Willie O’Dea said the workers in Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and CIÉ had been given no guarantees that their pensions will be honoured and that negotiations were “a mess”.
According to O’Dea, who has urged Transport Minister Shane Ross to intervene, the problem stems from the merging of a number of CIE pension schemes in the 1990s in which the workers were given certain guarantees of their pensions.
O’Dea commented: “CIE Group agreed to keep the scheme funded on an annual basis. The firm kept their agreements for a couple of years and then stopped, meaning the deficit built up.”
In addition, O’Dea said that the company was not offering to fund a legal option for the workers, something it had previously done in order to resolve pensions disputes, and that “flawed and legally questionable proposals to drastically reduce the benefits for the employees" were submitted to the Pensions Board by the CIE Group.
O’Dea described CIE Group's long-term plan to remedy the pension scheme by 2023 as merely "kicking the can down the road".