National Federation of Pensioners’ Association (NFPA)

On the 17th June 2015, the National Federation Pensioners’ Association held a meeting which was addressed by Brian Bourke, Chairman for the Alliance of Retired Pubic Service Pensioners.
This was the first time the  NFPA and the Alliance Retired Public Servants had discussions. Brian outlined the objectives of the Alliance and the many affiliated associations. He also outlined how effective the Alliance engineering questions in the Dail had been in getting into negotiations with Minister Howlin’s officials. This has now culminated in 69,000 pensions being restored by 2018, to those in the medium and lower bracket. He described this as being “a result not a win”. There are still some difficulties to be resolved in relation to public and semi-public pensions. He also stated that increases in pensions should now be pursued as the C.P.I. had increased to between 5% and 6%,The objective of the Alliance now is to move from representation to negotiating rights. All such like minded groups should now be moving forward and singing from the same Hymn Sheet.Mick Duffy representing C.T.U. pensions was also in attendance and spoke along the lines outlined above. They have now entered talks with Patricia King to have all all their pensioners recognised by congress,which will in the future negotiate on their behalf. He agreed that all groups should be singing from the same sheet.

Both speakers made reference to the anomaly regarding U.S.C.

The 3 groupings are in full support of the appointment of a Minister for Older People – which is a budget submission by the N.F.P.A. Enquiries re matters pertaining to this group are moved from Department to Department with nobody taking responsibility.

Appended is a copy of the Budget Submission made by the N.F.P.A. Some bear similarities to some of the motions on the clar of our recent ADM.

Pat Lehane.

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The Annual Seminar of the National Association of Pensioners’ Association (NFPA)  was held at Wyne’s Hotel, Dublin on Thursday, 30th October 2014.  The Central Committee of GRSMA was represented by Matt Cosgrove and Pat  Lehane.
 
The seminar was opened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Christy Burke, who welcomed the delegates. It is his aspiration that there should be many more support organisations catering for people after working life who are entitled to respect and dignity.  People on pensions are proud people, they have paid the imposed charges and denied themselves. Politicians are aware of the difficulties The counsellors of Dublin City Council appreciate the good work done in he building of the State. Austerity is still very much part of life and this is evidenced by the fact that Br. Kevin provides food for up to 1,600 people per day.
HE INTIMATED THAT HE WILL ARRANGE A MEETING,IF REQUIRED, BY ANY OF THE AFFILIATED GROUPS,WITH A MINISTER, AT THE MANSION HOUSE.,
Dr. Michael Collins, NERI produced a graph in relation to earnings,which indicated that the average pay is €63,000 p.a. with  average pension being €27,000. Pensions are on the bottom half of the income scale, The hardest hit,during the recession, were those at the top and bottom of the scale (including pensioners). Financial stress is very much to the fore,with people finding it hard to make ends meet – not a lot of relief. Married couples would have gained, on average,€270, while this is quickly offset with water charges. The key to recovery is not to go back to where we were – budget 2015 touched on the turning points,but missed the opportunity.
Recovery is slow, green shoots are not very evident.While employment in the Eastern area of the country has improved the same cannot be said of the western area, where job losses are still common. Long term unemployment impacting severely on he economy along with low skilled males, health sector and public service. Another lesson from the past is the increase in wages ahead of pensions,in particular OAP  – in 2007 5.3% of pensioners were on or below the poverty line, while in 2010 that figure rose to 50%
A resume of the survey on austerity carried out by the GSRMA was given by Pat Lehane as well s portion of the comments made by those surveyed, In reply Dr,Collins said there was something not just right when a person spends their lives paying off big mortgages to the determent of other matters such, as education of children,when it only realises it; liquid value on his death.
Dr Austin Warters-  HSE Manager of Older  Persons Services spoke. He stated that the average life expectancy for a man is 76.8 years while that for a woman is 81.6 which is a substantial increase from the past and likely to further  increase into the future. Good health at this juncture of life is very important and one of the key factors is STOP SMOKING  From a health point of view the  worst thing to do is stop working. Good to keep working up to the age of 67 or 68 years Should you suffer illness you recover quicker
Exercise should be a key factor in retirement.  He cited cycling, walking, engaging with other doing x-words and never stop learning and of course a healthy diet – THIS PREVENTS DEMENTIA.
He cited where a voluntary group near Westport had created a center for the elderly by the addition of 5 units to a bungalow, which they purchased, All the relevant services were provided here and an ideal situation where people can be taken care of in their own community. ,
 (Pat Lehane) 

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