IASS pension update

Wednesday 17th September 2014

Matt Staunton, National SecretaryOver the course of the next couple of weeks you will begin to receive a substantial amount of information about  how the deficit in the Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme (IASS) is to be addressed. This special bulletin is to provide you with relevant information about what happens next.

Unions in both the main companies affected (Aer Lingus and the Dublin and Shannon Airport Authorities) will be arranging ballots shortly on a number of key decisions that will be required. I will advise on these as arrangements are finalised in the coming days.

As you are no doubt aware the Expert Panel appointed by the Government published its report, on the industrial relations issues emerging from the IASS Pension Scheme, in June.  That report is
available here and the Expert Panel’s press release, which includes a summary of all the recommendations, is available here.

Since the publication of the report, unions have sought implementation proposals from the employers so that we can ballot members on the recommendations. Union members in each employment will be asked to ballot on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) containing specific proposals. These include the pay stabilisation proposals in Aer Lingus and the detail of the defined benefit (DC) schemes in both companies.

The Aer Lingus MOU is available here. We will distribute the Dublin/Shannon airport authorities’ version to you as soon as it becomes available.

In the coming days you can expect a lot of communications on this matter:

  • The DAA has written to all staff on (Monday 15th September) advising that their Pension Communications Programme has commenced.
  • Aer Lingus is to issue an explanatory booklet to all staff early next week, and is to schedule a series of information meetings with active and deferred members of the scheme.
  • The Trustee is also expected to announce his intention to commence his statutory consultation process to freeze and de-risk the IASS scheme, along with details of cuts to expected benefits.
  • Both companies propose to issue a personal illustration* to each staff member, which will outline exactly how these measures will affect them, and how the monies recommended by the Labour Court and Expert Panel will mitigate this.
  • Unions will be announcing ballot arrangements for dates in October, these will be confirmed shortly.

A meeting is scheduled to take place between Aer Lingus and SIPTU in order to discuss an internal dispute resolution process which is required as a result of the Expert Panel’s report. This was an issue
that IMPACT and SIPTU had already raised with the company. The latest draft of these proposals is available here and will be brought to members separately for a decision when finalised.

We will be adding more information to the page, as well as publishing update bulletins, as it becomes available.

Aer Lingus intends to post relevant information on the pension proposals website, so I recommend bookmarking the site for future reference.

*The personal illustration will provide details of the lump sum top-up payment the company is prepared to make into a new pension plan, if its proposals proceed. It will include  the projected pension benefits at normal retiring age, based on personal and pension details and on certain investment assumptions.