Case Number: ADJ-00005231. Workplace Relations Commission

Docket NumberADJ-00005231
Date30 August 2017
CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
PartiesRetired Civil Servant V Government

Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00005231




Anonymised Parties

Retired Civil Servant

Government, Trustees of Pension Scheme and Government Department



Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998



Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 81(e) of the Pensions Act, 1990 as amended by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 27/03/2017


In accordance with Part VII of the Pensions Acts 1990 - 2015 and Section 79 of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 - 2015, and following the referral of the complaints to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaints and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaints.

The Complainant joined the Original Pension Scheme when he commenced employment with the Respondent in 1974. This original pension scheme does not provide for a survivor pension for the Complainant’s husband because the Complainant married him after he retired in 1995. The Complainant married in 2015.

A complaint against a Government Department, Ireland and the Attorney General, were referred to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 16th May 2013 and a Decision DEC-P2015-002 was issued on 13th April 2015. This Decision of the Tribunal was appealed to the Labour Court but by letter dated 23rd October 2015 this appeal was withdrawn by the Complainant.

A complaint was lodged with the Workplace Relations Commission on 7th September 2016 this time citing the Respondent as The Government, Trustees of the named Pension Scheme and a Government Department.

The Complainant did not make a submission, either oral or written, to either Hearings, on the substantive issue but confined his arguments to the issue of the time limits as contained in Section 81(E) of the Pensions Act, 1990, as amended by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act, 2004. The Complainant agreed to make a submission to the Adjudication Officer after the March 2017 Hearing and to copy to the other Party. The Complainant forwarded a submission to the Adjudication Officer on 2nd May 2017. In this submission the Complainant states “….did not open the substantive case because if the WRC were to hear the case notwithstanding the Respondents preliminary objections and set aside the time limit it would risk the State seeking an Order of Prohibition against the WRC in the High Court as the Respondent’s has done previously”. The submission goes on to request the Adjudication Officer to issue a decision which in effect would be an opinion that the time limit in the Pensions Act is in breach of European law.

The Respondent replied to this submission by letter dated 12th July 2017 and copied to the Complainant. In this the Respondent refers to the decision on the WRC appeal against the decision of Charleton J – Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v Workplace Relations...

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