Fianna Fáil Pensions Bill favoured in Dáil vote
Written by Talya Misiri
The Irish Pension Bill, as proposed by Fianna Fáil, has been voted for by 82 votes to 51, defeating the government, RTE reported.
The Bill aims to make it illegal for a solvent company to wind up its defined benefit pension scheme without the consent of the Pensions Authority, essentially protecting vulnerable members.
This is the eighth time the government has been defeated in a parliamentary vote since coming to power. One Fine Gael and supporting independents voted against the Pensions Bill.
The vote was passed with the support of Sinn Féin, while the government expressed its concerns about the constitutional implications of the Bill.
A spokesman for Minister for Protection Leo Varadkar said "the Bill could cost some people their jobs, others their pensions or their businesses", adding that "it's a cure that may be worse than the disease".
Fianna Fáil social protection spokesperson Willie O’Dea confirmed that the bill will not apply retrospectively, in relation to the Independent News and Media case among other historic pensions cases.
The Bill will, however, require the Pensions Authority to compose a report establishing a pension protection scheme for winding-down company schemes.
The Bill will now be passed onto the Select Committee on Social Protection for further discussion.
The minority Fine Gael government has lost a significant number of votes in the Dáil recently, including amendments on fossil fuel and tracker mortgages.