Push for pensions must extend to CE supervisors

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Galway East TD Paul Connaughton this week said that the need for increased pension cover in the general population has been highlighted by the Minister for Social Protection on many occasions in recent months, but the Department must make proper pension provision for the 1,200 CE scheme supervisors around the country who have no pension scheme.
‘The operation of Community Employment Schemes comes under the remit of the Department of Social Protection and so there should be no sidestepping by the Department when it comes to the issue of pensions for CE scheme supervisors.
‘At the moment, 1,200 CE supervisors all across the country are completely without pension schemes. The Department funds their employment but is trying to sidestep the responsibility of paying their pensions, saying that technically they are employed by the local community group which sponsors the scheme. At a time when employers are increasingly being pressured to provide proper pension schemes for their employees, it is only proper that the Department would lead the way in terms of meeting its responsibilities to these men and women. Their employment is made possible through funding from the Department, local community groups do not have the wherewithal to provide pensions, so the Department must face up to its responsibilities on this front.
‘This issue has been going on for many years. It is a disgrace that these people, who have given so much to community employment schemes, helping thousands of people to access training and further employment, are not entitled to a contributory pension. I will be raising this issue with Minister Howlin because I believe that it’s important that he works with Minister Joan Burton to see if a solution can be found for these people who have given such sterling work to their community.’