The HO Retired Staff Association committee met on 22nd September.
Some developments since the last meeting, including the proposed sale of ESB and the implications it has for pensions were discussed. The main issues of concern were identified as:
(1) There was some concern that recent changes in the accounting treatment of pensions could allow companies to present pension liabilities more favourably than heretofore. There was also some concern that the traditional responsibility of ESB for pension liabilities may not continue into the future.
(2) The government levy on pension funds was approved by cabinet and signed into law. How it will be implemented and how it will affect ESB pensions has yet to be determined.
(3) ESB pension fund is subject to actuarial valuation every three years, with the next valuation due on 31st. Dec. 2011. It is unclear if any ‘cost of living’ increase in pensions due when the moritorium comes to an end in 2014 will be based on this valuation or if another valuation closer to 2014 will be necessary.
It was agreed that the following be expedited:
(1) The Pension Forum to be set up ASAP.
(2) HO branch to nominate two members to the forum
(3) Liaise with corresponding pension associations in semi-state organisations, which have alkreday been privatised (e.g. Aer Lingus,
Eircom) with a view to learning from their experience.”