Retired Members Group
Important Information for Retired Members in Receipt of a Public Service Pension!
Confirmation from the Department of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform to ICTU Public Services Committee that the Public Service Agreement 2024 to 2026 will be extended to pre-existing public service pension schemes.
The letter to the ICTU Public Services Committee states:
In the circumstances where Public Service Agreement 2024 to 2026 is ratified by the Public Services Committee of ICTU, I can confirm the following in relation to Pension Increase Policy:
The current pensions increase policy, of maintaining parity between the pay of serving staff and pensions that have been awarded under pre-existing public service pension schemes, will be extended for the duration of the new pay agreement.
Membership of the Fórsa Retired Members Group is open to all retired members of Fórsa. Download a retired members brochure and application form here.
Contact the Retired Members Group here.
While it’s a fact that many Fórsa retired members have not sought membership as retired members, most branches have worked to encourage members to maintain their union membership (or to re-join) following retirement. We would ask everyone thinking of retiring to consider remaining in membership.
The current maximum annual subscription is €96, depending on pension value, and the potential financial and discount benefits alone make membership an attractive option. Subscriptions are set at Annual Conference.
The Retired Members Group will continue to pursue the issue and seek to have membership continue on retirement on what is called an ‘opt-out basis in future. This wil hopefully will increase membership numbers and our strength within the union.
There is a comprehensive range of financial and discount benefits available to retired members. These benefits include cheaper house, car and health insurance and a range of retail discounts and other savings. More details are available here.
Our Focus and Priorities
The primary focus of the Retired Members Group (RMG) is the protection of members’ pension terms and conditions. The RMG also advocates on behalf of members as regards the timely payment of pensions, a source of ongoing difficulty as regards application of pension increases, and also provides contact details for queries.
Issues of particular concern to members who are in retirement include:
• occupational pensions and associated terms and conditions,
• state pensions,
• social welfare benefits and entitlements,
• health matters,
• personal security,
• retirement planning,
• public transport issues and with other matters of specific concern to retired persons.
Nationally, the RMG has worked the Alliance of Retired Public Servants and will continue to do so, and is represented on the Irish Congress Of Trade Unions’ Retired Members Committee. It also has membership of the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament.
Fórsa Membership Communications
While email is prevalent among recent retirees, it may not be appropriate for some members who perhaps don’t have access to email and so will be an ongoing issue for discussion by the Retired Members Group. Members are encouraged to make contact via their branch or here with suggestions.
Status of Retired Members with Fórsa
There have been ongoing engagements with the National Executive Committee and national officials on the formal status of retired members since the amalgamation of unions and the creation of Fórsa in 2018. As of 2023, retired members are not members of a division, although they retain membership of their branch. Discussions are underway on this issue and a motion is due to be sent forward to the Annual Conference in 2024 to have the status of retired members formally recognised in the Fórsa rulebook.
Pensioner Negotiation Rights
Since the enactment of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act, retired members do not have formal negotiation rights and no access to industrial relations mechanisms. The Retired Members Group hold the view that this is unacceptable and are actively engaged with Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Alliance of Retired Public Servants on this issue, including seeking the support of TDs and other related groups.
Report of the Annual General Meeting 2022 (19 September)
The Fórsa Retired Members Group held its first in-person Annual General Meeting on 19 September 2022 at Nerney’s Court. It was great to see so many members back together. The meeting was opened by outgoing chairperson, Brian Burke, followed by his address where he informed the meeting of his decision to step down.
Elections were held and the following people were voted in for 2022/2023 on the Executive Committee.
Chair: Martin Bridgeman
Vice Chair: John Martin
Treasurer: Gerry Foley
Secretary: Helen Lundy
On taking the chair, Martin Bridgeman thanked Brian Burke on behalf of the meeting and commended him on his years of commitment and hard work on behalf of retired members, and wished him well. He also expressed his thanks, on behalf of the committee and the AGM, to Mary Keating, outgoing secretary to the group for her many years of help and support.
Martin also stated that his immediate priority was to seek formality of the group and would follow up with the Fórsa President and National Executive Committee, building on the engagements with the NEC on the issue in 2022. He also stated his determination to ensure protection of parity in any future pay talks.