Pfizer work­ers re­ject claim on pen­sion rec­om­men­da­tions

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - BARRY O’HAL­LO­RAN

Pfizer work­ers have re­jected the com­pany’s claim that a Labour Court rec­om­men­da­tion sup­ports a move away from its salary-linked pen­sion.

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­turer wants to move 900 of its Ir­ish work­ers from two non-con­trib­u­tory pen­sion schemes that of­fer them a pro­por­tion of their salary on re­tire­ment, to a new plan with­out that guar­an­tee.

The Labour Court re­cently rec­om­mended that Pfizer pay up to €35,000 to staff in com­pen­sa­tion for freez­ing the salary-linked de­fined ben­e­fit pen­sion plan. Mem­bers of trade union Siptu in Pfizer yes­ter­day re­jected a claim by man­age­ment that the rec­om­men­da­tion sup­ports a move away from the de­fined pen­sion scheme.

Siptu sec­tor or­gan­iser Alan O’Leary said work­ers had hired an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert to help clar­ify the im­pli­ca­tions of the court’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

“It is disin­gen­u­ous and to­tally in­ac­cu­rate of Pfizer man­age­ment to claim, as it did in a re­cent news­pa­per ar­ti­cle, that the rec­om­men­da­tion sup­ports ‘mov­ing away’ from the de­fined ben­e­fit scheme,” he said.

“Our mem­bers be­lieve that these com­ments re­veal one of the fun­da­men­tal rea­sons why, since 2014, Pfizer Ire­land has been at­tempt­ing to change ex­ist­ing pen­sion ben­e­fits.”

Mr O’Leary added that Pfizer work­ers in other EU coun­tries, such as Bel­gium, have been al­lowed to stay in their de­fined-ben­e­fit schemes or to vol­un­tar­ily move to a new one.

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