Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall has said that “the INM pensions debacle is causing dismay to the members in the scheme and alarm to tens of thousands of others in similar defined benefit schemes.”
“It highlights once again the total inequity that can arise when the Board of a profitable company can legally renege on promises made to employees and former employees to provide them with pensions in their retirement. This is particularly unacceptable in the context of INM having been bailed out to the tune of €132m. This would not be allowed to happen in the UK where the law prohibits a solvent company from taking such unilateral action. Neither should it be allowed to happen here.”
In the course of the 2014 Social Welfare Bill, Deputy Shortall proposed an amendment to close this gap in the law, but it was rejected by the then Government.
“Once again the Social Democrats call on the Minister to introduce the necessary legislation to ensure that solvent companies cannot just walk away from their pension commitments. Members in defined benefit pension schemes deserve at least this level of protection. This is a matter of the utmost urgency in respect of INM deferred pensioners but it also has serious implications for tens of thousands of other defined benefit pensioners.”