The Minister for Finance published the Public Service Pay and Pensions Bill 2017 on November 7th and this was debated and passed through the Dail before Christmas, the RMA sought with the help of TUI and the Alliance of Retired Public Servants to have amendments made to the Bill but were unsuccessful.
The proposals of the Bill were discussed by the Alliance of Retired Public Servants and by the RMA Management committee at their meetings in November. These were viewed as disappointing in two respects:
- The timescale outlined for restoration is too long. (The Alliance and RMA had sought full restoration by 2019.)
- There is no definite latest date for full pension restoration for those on pensions above €54000.
2% of public service pensioners have pensions above €54000.
The effects of the Bill are :
- Everyone who retired before March 2012 with a pension of €39000 or below will, from January. 1st, 2019 will be exempt from PSPR.
- Everyone who retired before March 2012 with a pension of €54000 or below will, from January. 1st, 2020 will be exempt from PSPR.
- The lowest paid pensioners will receive increases backdated to September 2017
The vast majority of RMA members will be exempt from PSPR by 2020 as their pensions are below €54000.
The RMA would like to commend the members who lobbied political parties over the past few years, thank you.
In the last issue, I referred to our Autumn Break in The Boyne Valley Hotel Drogheda Co Louth which was due to take place as I was submitting the article for printing. The break proved very successful even if we had to make some late changes to the schedule thanks to storm Oplelia which resulted in The Battle of the Boyne site not been open on health and safety grounds, so we visited Ardgillan Castle Balbriggan Co Dublin instead. The Hotel could not have been better, with wonderful food, comfortable accommodation and helpful staff. We had fantastic guided tours.
So you’ll come on the next one? Well the Spring break will be in the Celtic Ross Hotel Rosscarbery Co Cork. It is accessible by train and bus from Cork city and the break is scheduled for 20th /2st/22nd March 2018. The Booking Form can be downloaded from www.rmatui.ie and returned directly to the hotel. You can also book by phone. Ours tours may include on Wednesday 21st – Guided Walking Tour of Rosscarbery in the morning and an afternoon Michael Collins historical bus trip.
On Thursday 22nd – Bus tour to Mizen Head and other attractions, with a stop for lunch.
The RMA continues to grow. The number of branches is increasing with two formed in Wicklow and Cavan during the past year. Many branches held a social event or lunch for Christmas. I attended one in Cavan as well as my own branch in Meath and both were a great success.
Members and in particular branch secretaries should note that March 17th is the deadline for the submission of amendments to the RMA constitution and April 23rd for motions to AGM which will take place on May 23rd in the Tullamore Court Hotel Tullamore Co Offaly. If you have any amendments or motions please submit them to me at email@example.com before those dates (constitution amendments March 17th and Motions April 23rd )
Finally colleagues, on behalf of the Management Committee, may I wish you a 2018 full of ‘positives’ and good health. I look forward to seeing more of you participating in our Spring and Autumn breaks and attending our AGM.
Dan Keane, RMA Secretary.