ASTI says new pension scheme is open to legal challenge

Friday 30 September 2011 11:16 Age: 4 yrs

The ASTI said today it is considering challenging the legality of the Government’s new pension scheme for public sector workers.

The Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme) and Remuneration Bill 2011 was published today by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin.

ASTI General Secretary Pat King said the Bill means teachers will be forced to join a pension scheme which will see them paying more in contributions than they will receive in benefit:

“The ASTI is considering a legal challenge to the compulsory nature of the scheme. The Bill published today means that teachers will not only fully fund their own pensions, but will end up over-subscribing. This is nonsensical and has to be open to legal challenge.”

The ASTI said it is angered by the failure of Government Ministers to discuss the legitimate concerns of the teacher unions regarding this latest scheme. “This is despite assurances from both Government parties prior to the election that they would meet with us and hear our concerns,” said Pat King.

The teacher unions are currently seeking a hearing before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on the matter.

An independent report prepared by the actuarial firm Trident on behalf of the teacher unions pointed out serious flaws in the pension proposals:

  • A teacher entering the new pension scheme at the beginning of their career would pay more into their pension than they would ever get out. This means the compulsory scheme may well be open to legal challenge.
  • The terms and conditions of the new scheme would not allow it to be approved by the Revenue Commissioners or recognised by the Pensions Board if it were proposed in the private sector.