Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Aengus O’Rourke, says his party is dedicated to protecting the incomes of older people to ensure they have sufficient income to live “full, independent and dignified lives” in retirement.
During the 2016 General Election, Fianna Fáil published a number of proposals that would protect older people’s incomes and enhance their standard of living. Included in this was a proposal to prohibit levies or charges on pension funds, something Cllr O’Rourke calls “a crucial commitment to make”.
“The pension levy was introduced by the Fine Gael-Labour Government in 2011 as an ‘emergency measure’ with a promise to abolish it again by 2015,” Cllr O’Rourke said. “However, rather than abolishing it, Michael Noonan extended it by an additional two years. To date, the measure has raided these pension funds to the tune of €2 billion. A commitment by Fianna Fáil to preclude and prohibit such an unjust raid in future was again confirmed this week.
“While Fianna Fáil is not in government, we nevertheless remain committed to implementing in as much as possible our proposals and delivering on our vision for an Ireland for all. To that end, Deputy Willie O’Dea has brought forward a Bill, the aim of which is to provide for a prohibition on legislation which would unilaterally impose a levy or similar charge on pension funds. It is hoped that this legislation will be brought before the Dáil in the coming months.”
Cllr O’Rourke added that people with defined benefit pension schemes also require protection.
“In this regard, Fianna Fáil is in the process of drafting a Bill to ensure that members of defined benefit schemes are not treated unfairly in any restructuring process/arrangement. It is envisaged that these two Bills, when passed, will help to protect the incomes of older people and provide a degree of financial security in retirement,” he concluded.