Aviation pension talks continue

23rd October 2012

Negotiations about the funding of the Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme (IASS) are continuing at the Labour Relations Commission, where IMPACT is represented as part of the ICTU group of unions. The pension scheme covers staff in Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

Members of all the unions involved have passed ballots to approve industrial action if the employers “fail to ensure that the IASS is adequately funded in a manner which is agreed to by the majority of members.”

Last week the DAA denied press reports that it had tabled an offer to help bridge the funding gap in the pension scheme.

The unions have recognised that the use of the IASS for continued future pension provision is probably not sustainable. They are trying to secure 100% of members’ benefits accrued under the scheme to date, and to secure an agreement in both companies that is of equal value to members of the various unions.

The recent re-introduction of the Pensions Board funding standard for pension schemes, and a new requirement to have a risk reserve, places added pressure on the talks. Unions fear that the new requirements could propel the trustees to seek to close or wind-up the pension scheme. National Secretary Matt Staunton has said this underlines the requirement to have a strong agreement in place quickly.