SIPTU has secured the part payment of pensions on the date of a staff member’s retirement rather than waiting up to several months for its full calculation prior to any monies being made available.

SIPTU Health Divisional Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “Members will be aware that SIPTU, as part of the ICTU Staff Panel of Health Unions, has been campaigning for the roll out of a scheme whereby staff retiring from the HSE would receive a part-payment of their expected pension on retirement. The previous system had been for pension only to be paid after the retirement date with many members not receiving any money for many months, if not years after they left the service. 

“Arising from the campaign, the HSE rolled out a pilot scheme which provided a part-payment of pension to the retiree on the date of their retirement, with the balance followed once final calculations were completed.

“Following the conclusion of the pilot, we have been advised the HSE has extended the scheme; and it will now be available in the East, North-East, Tullamore, Kilkenny, Cork and Manorhamilton superannuation regionsWe understand the scheme has not been rolled out yet in the West or Mid-West regions, but engagement is ongoing with these areas to have it provided to staff. We expect to receive further updates on this; and will keep members updated on developments. 

“In the pension regions listed where the scheme has been rolled out, we understand the HSE now seeks to provide a part-payment of up to 70% of pension in the month a staff member retires or full payment, if possible. We expect to receive confirmation of ‘Go Live’ dates for each area.” 

He added: “We understand the HSE is currently processing most pension claims in full within eight weeks once the documentation has been received on time. Members will note that this is a significant reduction on the time which was evidenced to the unions prior to making our campaign for a speedy resolution of pension claims. Separately, SIPTU was advised the HSE expects that all pensioners will receive their increase due from the 1st January 2024 within the June payment.”