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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 28 February, 2020
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ESB workers protest over plans to pay €78.4m dividend to State

Workers say the approval of the payment would be unlawful at a time when the semi-state’s pension fund has a €1.6 billion deficit.

Image: Photocall Ireland

ESB’S ANNUAL ACCOUNTS for last year were announced to shareholders today and a dividend of €78.4 million was declared – sparking protests in Dublin city centre by workers who oppose plans to give the dividend to the State.

Protesting ESB workers say the approval of the dividend payment would be unlawful at a time when the semi-state’s pension fund has a €1.6 billion deficit.

Gardaí confirmed that they closed off traffic on a section of Fitzwilliam Street earlier to accommodate the several hundred protesters.

In a statement, ESB management said the actuary of the company’s pension scheme has “recently confirmed that the Scheme is currently in balance on an actuarial basis ie that the scheme will be able to meet its obligations as they fall due.”

“The Pensions Board requires the Scheme to assess whether it could meet a certain prescribed standard, known as the Minimum Funding Standard (MFS), if it were wound up on a specified theoretical valuation date. Neither the Government nor the ESB envisages the winding up of the scheme,” the statement added.

Read: Three fire units attending ESB station blaze
Read: Any excuse to dig out the ESB ‘Going Back’ ad
Read: For sale: State asset sell-off begins as Bord Gáis Energy invites bids

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