The two pension funds for ‘staff’ and ‘workers’ at Waterford Crystal were wound up on Tuesday following a meeting between management and union trustees and Mercer/The Irish Pensions Trust. An official statement is due to be released on behalf of the trustees in the near future.
The Waterford Crystal joint fund is one of the first defined benefit schemes in this country to be formally wound up. The Munster Express understands there are about 1800 people in the schemes, including the existing Waterford Crystal pensioners. It is estimated the fund is valued in the region of €120m, about one-third of what its true worth should be. However, because of complex factors it should not be deduced that the true worth should be three times that amount.
A complicated scenario is further muddied by the fact that there are a number of former employees who left the company over the years of their own free will but opted to let their portion of their pensions remain in place giving them the future options of accepting reduced pensions at aged 63 or 65.
It is understood the existing pensions of former workers, protected by The Pensions Act, are safe and the redundant workers will be presented with a number of options pertaining to their entitlements including acceptance of their transfer value from the funds, the purchase of bonds with their money or, possibly, an agreement to embark on a new pension structure.