Statement on the third meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum


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Opportune and informative discussion between Govt, employer and trade union groups on Occupational Pension Schemes

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Thursday) chaired the third meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF). This meeting brought together representatives of employers and trade unions with Government Ministers for a dedicated discussion on proposed measures to increase protections for members of Defined Benefit Occupational Pension Schemes.

The discussions were led by the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD. The proposals are included in the General Scheme of the Social Welfare and Pensions Reform Bill 2017, which was approved by Government on Tuesday (9th May). It is currently being submitted for pre-legislative scrutiny by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection.

Commenting on the discussions Minister Donohoe, said: ‘The discussions today were informative for all parties. The Labour Employer Economic Forum meeting provided a particularly welcome opportunity for early and informed consideration of the statutory proposals approved by Government in recent days. The views expressed at the meeting will form the basis for further engagement with the representative bodies on the statutory proposals as the Bill progresses. 

Minister Varadkar said: ‘We will maintain close contact with Ibec and ICTU as the Social Welfare and Pensions Reform Bill makes its way through the Oireachtas. I want to thank Minister Donohoe and all the parties involved for their contributions in today’s constructive and informed discussions’.

In line with stated objective of the LEEF to have BREXIT included as a standard agenda item, Minister Donohoe led a detailed discussion on developments to date in relation to the BREXIT process. The Minister noted that, after intensive lobbying by Government, both the EU's negotiating guidelines and the stated UK position reflect Ireland's unique concerns and priorities.

He added that: ‘The Government will continue to develop its negotiating position through broad consultation, including with labour and employer groups in order to manage the inevitable challenges for Ireland that will arise during the Brexit process’.

Ends

Notes for Editors:

The meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum was chaired today by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D. In attendance was Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, TD; Minister of State for Financial Services, eGovernment and Public Procurement, Eoghan Murphy TD; and Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D.

Ibec: was represented by; Mr. Danny McCoy, Ms. Maeve McElwee, Mr. Tom Parlon and Mr. Ian Talbot

ICTU was represented by; Ms. Patricia King, Mr. Tom Healy, and Mr. Kevin Callinan

  • The Labour Employer Economic Forum is jointly sponsored by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD; the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD; and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD;
  • The Forum is a non-binding consultative forum;
  • Issues concerning pay will not form part of discussions;
  • The LEEF will meet on a quarterly basis and be chaired by the sponsoring Ministers. An Taoiseach will chair the first meeting annually. Meetings between times will be handled at official level.
Last modified:11/05/2017