Retired public servants call for pension restoration

Appeals for “humanity” as people’s time runs out...

There are claims that tens of thousands of retired public servants could die without ever getting access to their full pensions.

The Alliance of Retired Public Servants (ARPS) has appealed to Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe to bring forward the restoration of pensions from the current projected date of 2021.

The group has argued that if they have to wait until then, 40,000 people will have died while on reduced pensions.

The claim is made in its submission to the Public Service Pay Commission, which is set to furnish the Government with its new report in the coming days.

APRS chairperson Brian Burke commented:

"On average about 4,000 retired public servants die each year so if the current completion date of 2021 is stuck with, over 40,000 people will have died by that time on reduced pensions [since 2011], pensions that they contributed to during their working lives.

"This is why we think it’s only fair that the Government should bring forward the date from 2021."

Speaking on a personal level, he added:

"I've lost a few friends at this stage who were good public servants. One worked in health, one worked in local authorities and if you look at it from the humanity side of it, they never saw their pension be restored."

The Alliance also wants the issue of people who didn't suffer cuts but have remained on low pensions to be addressed.

This is the situation where those on €12,000 or less haven't seen an increase since 2007.

Burke said:

“Over the 10-year period since 2007, prices – particularly the costs of healthcare, energy and heating which are important items for older people – have risen, placing an undue strain on very modest incomes. In this context, the Alliance is asking that the Government agrees to increasing those pensions.”

He confirmed that the ARPS has had some constructive discussions with the minister on these matters.