People Before Profit is on the side of pensioners. The mark of a decent society is how it treats its elderly.
Yet companies are closing proper pension schemes. The number of Defined Benefit Schemes has declined from a peak of 1,500 (300,000 members) to less than 715 (100,000 members) today. Many workers have no occupational pension scheme.
People Before Profit seek to:
- Reverse the extension of the retirement age. The extension of the retirement age to 68 will leave Ireland with one of the highest pension ages in Europe. We would move the retirement again back to 65.
- Increase the state pension to €260 per week.
- Restore the Transitional Pension Scheme. In the past, workers were entitled to a transitional pension between 65 and 66. Many are now forced to seek a means-tested ‘Job Seekers Allowance’ payment for a year or more.
- Major employers must establish a pension scheme for their staff. At present, employers need only establish a Personal Retirement Savings Account for their employees, to which they need make no contribution.
- Stop the profiteering and speculation of pension funds: create a National Pension Scheme. The private pension industry is ripping off workers. It imposes charges of between eight percent and 31 percent of the final pension fund. A worker who contributed €500 a month to their pension fund could lose €77,138 over their working life. Workers should be able to contribute to a National Pension Scheme which undertakes socially useful investments and guarantees pensions security.
- Make legal changes to stop companies closing pension schemes.
- Defend free travel.
- Restore the fuel allowance, telephone allowance and Household Benefit package. Ireland has a high rate of deaths due to hypothermia and high levels of poverty and isolation among older people – it was a scandal that these allowances were cut.