Letter from Brian Fitzpatrick

A letter from Brian Fitzpatrick to Mr David Denny

Dear Mr Denny,
The Retired Civil and Public Servants’ Association was founded in 1945 to promote and represent the interests of civil service pensioners including their surviving spouses in receipt of a civil service pension. The Association is a founder member of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants.

Given the mention in your Commission’s Terms of Reference that when reaching its findings it should have regard, inter alia, to the Superannuation and other benefits applying in the Public Service, my Council have directed me to make this submission.

In Appendix A the Association outlines its concern that Government is attempting to influence the Commission to overvalue public service pensions, notwithstanding available evidence that they have fallen in value since the 2007 Public Service Benchmarking Body evaluation. 
Accordingly the Commission is respectfully requested to ensure that any findings on pension valuation are fact and evidence based.

In addition the Association has identified another major issue, which it would ask the Commission to examine urgently in the context of unwinding FEMPI pay matters. This concerns the grossly unfair treatment of serving public servants who will retire before their pre FEMPI pay levels have been fully restored.

This problem has already manifested among persons who retired post February 2012 whose pensions were determined by reference to salaries, which had incurred cuts under FEMPI legislation. Unlike pensioners who retired pre March 2012 and their colleagues who continue to serve no provision has been made to restore their pensions to pre emergency levels.

Uniquely, therefore, they and potentially their surviving spouses and dependents are destined to carry these cuts to their graves. This is grossly unfair treatment especially given the contribution these pensioners have made in the delivery of such unprecedented change and savings across the public service over the crisis months and years prior to their retirement.

Although your terms of reference exclude reference to the unwinding of FEMPI pension cuts my Council wish me to set out for your information in Appendix B a paper on the need for early abolition of all these cuts including the removal of the anomalous treatment of those who retired post February 2012 (Appendix B page 3) who have been excluded from restoration to date.

In view of the issues involved the Association is sending a copy of this letter and enclosures to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for information. However, representatives of the Association are available to meet the Commission to elaborate in more detail on any of the important issues raised in this letter and its Appendices.

Yours sincerely

Brian Fitzpatrick
Honorary Secretary
28 February 2017