Tuesday 26 September 2017

€350,000 lump sum for HSE consultant who retired last year

Gordon Deegan

A CONSULTANT radiologist working in the HSE received a lump-sum payment of just over €350,000 when retiring last year.

The €350,422 payout to the unnamed consultant formed part of €87m in pensions for retiring HSE workers in 2014.

That spend represents a 43pc increase on the €61m paid out in lump sums in 2013.

The figures show that four retiring consultants received lump-sum payments in excess of €300,000 last year.

Along with the consultant radiologist receiving the €350,422, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist received €336,769.

Meanwhile, an unclassified consultant received €316,383 and a clinical director of psychiatry services received €301,275.

Aggregate

The figures show that 18 received sums between €200,000 and €300,000 including 11 who received lump-sum payments between €250,000 and €300,000.

The aggregate payment to the top 10 recipients totalled €3.011m.

This was paid to two consultant radiologists, two consultant psychiatrists, two unclassified psychiatrists, one consultant anaesthetist, one consultant obstetrician, one consultant paediatric surgeon and one consultant in clinical pharmacology.

However the overall lump sum payments to retiring HSE workers represented a sharp decrease on the €174.85m paid out in 2012 and the €136.8m paid out in 2011.

The HSE is contractually bound to pay the sums to the retiring staff.

Bonanza

Responding to the figures, the chief executive of small and medium-size business organisation ISME, Mark Fielding, remarked that Ireland is "the best little country in the world ... if you're in the public sector".

He added that "job creators, the SME owner managers and self-employed, not alone will never see this type of bonanza".

However, the health workers in question would have paid into their pensions throughout their working lives.

Arising from changes from the 2011 Finance Act, the first €200,000 in lump-sum payments is tax-free.

Amounts in excess of this tax-free limit are subject to tax in two stages - except for specified exclusions.

The portion between €200,000 and €575,000 is taxed at the standard rate on 20pc, while any portion above that is taxed at the individuals' marginal rate of tax.

Irish Independent

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