The Labour Court has recommended that the general structure of the new pension arrangements at Aer Lingus, which were proposed by the company, be accepted.

These are interim recommendations, and relate to the resolution of pension deficit and other related matters at the airline.

The Labour Court has also recommended that the pension scheme be coordinated with the State pension.

Unions had argued that the effect of coordination would disproportionately hit those on lower levels of pensionable pay.

The Court said it has taken this into account and recommends weighting the output from the new scheme by reference to different levels of pensionable pay.

The referral to the Labour Court came after an agreement was reached between IBEC and ICTU aimed at resolving a long standing dispute concerning the current and future pension arrangements for Aer Lingus staff.

The Court says that if final agreement is not reached on 31 January outstanding matters may be referred back to the Court.