177/15-DeCare Dental

To:    Branch Secretaries & All Members
Crc:  177/15
Date: 11th December 2015
Re.     Executive decision not to proceed with DeCare Dental proposal


The News Update No. 22 last week advised members of the Executive Committee decision at its meeting at the end of November not to proceed with the proposals to take out a privately supplied Insurance policy at an estimated cost of €920,000 in 2016. This followed a consultative (advisory) ballot of members which had a historically low turn-out for the CPSU of 45% although those voting indicated support for the product. We are issuing this circular to expand on the reasons why the decision was made not to go ahead despite the ballot result.

Currently we operate our own Dental Benefit Package which is paid for by each member’s subscription to the ring-fenced Benefit Fund (i.e. 20% of the member’s total 1% subscription). The current scheme is run internally by the CPSU Head Office and is NOT an insurance policy.

The DeCare Dental policy was researched and sourced by Head Office on foot of motions passed at Annual Conference.   It’s an insurance policy and would have cost the union €80 per member for 12 months regardless of whether the member made a dental claim or not.

Currently about 40% of members make claims annually on our own scheme.   Interestingly this is about the same number of members who voted in the ballot.   On reviewing the ballot and the DeCare proposals concerns arose that if only a minority of members claimed under the new scheme significant profits would be made by a private company.   No on-going reserve would be built up for the union and it’s members.   Under the CPSU current scheme if members don’t claim, the money stays in our Benefit Fund for pay out to members in the future.   The same would not be the case under the DeCare Dental policy.

There was further concern at reports from meetings around the country that members were not happy at having to pay an additional €52 a year for the Policy in 2017 on top of the current membership subscription.

It was agreed by the Executive that there was too great a risk, given the turnout in the ballot, that only a minority of members would use the new dental benefit policy and that it would be better for the membership as a whole to review the current Benefit Scheme with a view to enhancing the benefits available through it to our members.

The Financial Secretary is currently examining options to enhance the benefits paid out by the existing scheme including the potential for some new elements. The Executive decision requires that any new proposals be identified in the run up to ADC 2016 in April.

In relation to the availability of DeCare Dental on an ‘own expense’ basis members interested in arranging a personal policy may contact Lyons Financial Services on 01-8015808 or email at dental@LFS.ie

The Executive appreciates some members will be disappointed by the decision but it was taken with the better interests of all members in mind.   It looks forward to delivering enhanced benefits to members in due course.

Eoin Ronayne

General Secretary