Pension Promise Campaign
SIPTU has launched a campaign to hold the Government to account on its promise of a State pension rate of 34% of average earnings.
Launched at the Retired Members Delegate Conference in Liberty Hall, the goal of the Pension Promise campaign is to ensure that retired workers have an adequate income to meet their living costs.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for Organising and Membership Development, Ethel Buckley said:
“Currently, older people and those on fixed incomes worry about how they will afford to put food on the table and heat their homes. Some people are being forced to choose between food and heat. This is not acceptable in a country as wealthy as Ireland and SIPTU will not put up with it.
Retired and older people deserve secure adequate retirement incomes. It’s no more than they have earned after a lifetime of work and paying taxes.”
The Roadmap for Pension Reform 2018–2023, produced by the Department of Social Protection, contained a commitment to a State pension contributory payment of no less than 34% of average earnings. It also stated that the Government would institute a process whereby future changes in pension rates of payment would be linked to changes in the Consumer Price Index and average wages.
The Government has repeatedly suggested this benchmark as the minimum adequate payment for the state pension contributory.
The current weekly rate of the State pension is 265. That’s 45 per week short on the Government’s commitment of €310 per week if benchmarked against 34% of average earnings.
Ethel Buckley said: “SIPTU demands that the Government honours its commitment to a state pension rate of 34% of average earnings. That is why we are launching the Pensions Promise Campaign. Just like the Stop67 campaign, Pension Promise is part of our Union’s set of demands for fair and flexible pensions for all.
“Retired and older people need that €45 per week in their pockets now so that they can stave off the devastating impact of inflation and the rise in the cost of living.”
The Pensions Promise Campaign will work with other unions and with age sector organisations and other civil society allies to ensure that the Government’s commitments to retired and older people are honoured.
“After a lifetime of work, the right to retire with dignity is hardly too much to expect,” said Buckley.
This article appeared first in Liberty