Waterways Ireland pensions

Here’s a piece of uninformative information.

I’ve written before about Waterways Ireland’s pension scheme and the burden it imposes on the organisation’s current expenditure. I also pointed out that WI’s current staff would be required to pay more into their pension scheme.

The Dáil exchange to which I linked above (a Labour TD asking a question of a Labour minister) seems to discuss one part of the problem but not the other. The minister says that he is happy with the increase in pension contributions. However, he is providing an escape route for [southern] employees of Waterways Ireland: they can elect to

revert to what is called ‘Reserved Rights’ status which is effectively the standard southern public service terms.

I do not know whether that is a contributory or a non-contributory scheme; there may be different provisions for officers and servants.

There is no information about those who were formerly employed by Northern Ireland public sector bodies or those who joined Waterways Ireland without previous public sector employment north or south.

Finally, the minister provided no information about the effect of a mass withdrawal on the North/South Pension Scheme or, more importantly, on Waterways Ireland’s budget. I am unable to work out what the consequences might be; I hope that WI is not left to pay out large pensions to retired staff out of a reduced pension fund and declining grant income from the governments.

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