05 December 2016

Deputy Willie Penrose, Labour Party spokesperson on Social Protection today said:

“The decision by Independent News and Media (INM) to wind down it’s defined benefit pension scheme highlights the need for the pension rights of workers to be defended and protected.

“Any fair minded person will agree that it is wrong that shareholders will profit while working people have their pension entitlements slashed.

“This business decision weeks before Christmas will set a dangerous precedent where profitable companies believe they can walk away from their pension obligations to their workers while simultaneously paying out dividends to their shareholders.

“The Minister for Social Protection has spent much time talking about a universal pension scheme but there are now hundreds of thousands of workers in Ireland who thought they had provision for their retirement and will be seriously worried at what is happening to the INM pension scheme.

“There is no point talking about future pension coverage if the rights of those currently in schemes are being destroyed. Pension rights must be defended and protected. It sets a dangerous precedent that will put people off saving for their retirement if they believe their rights and lifetime savings might be drastically cut at any point.

“The Minister needs to urgently act to ensure defined benefit schemes are protected, and that our laws are robust enough to ensure profitable companies cannot walk away from their obligations to current and former employees.”

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