IMPACT welcomes publication of expert report into aviation pension scheme

IMPACT trade union today (Monday) welcomed the publication of the report of the expert group set up to make recommendations on dealing with the funding deficit in the Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme (IASS), which is the pension fund covering most staff in Aer Lingus and the Dublin and Shannon airport authorities.

IMPACT is now considering the report’s recommendations in advance of internal meetings with the branches concerned and meetings with other unions in the company.  The union plans to hold a comprehensive round of information meetings with members to explain the contents of the report. The union will also outline the consequences, for the future viability of the pension scheme, pension benefits, and industrial relations in the sector, of a rejection of the proposals. The union will then ballot its members on the proposals.

In a statement today, the authors of the report say it is the “final opportunity to resolve this very protracted and divisive dispute” and that “the situation facing members of the IASS will deteriorate further” if the report is not accepted. The authors warn that the scheme trustees will move to freeze the scheme for future service and cut accrued benefits by 20% if this initiative fails.

The expert panel was established in March by ICTU, IBEC, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and innovation. Among other things, it recommends an increase in the capital sums payable by both Aer Lingus (increased to €146.7million) and DAA (increased to €57.3 million) and lower contributions for lower paid active members in Aer Lingus and DAA.

The report was published today despite a call by Aer Lingus for it to be delayed.