THE cost of the State’s army pension bill for this year is almost €30m over budget.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said that the overrun was due to a “considerably larger” number of army retirements than expected.
Mr Shatter told the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality that 498 members of the Defence Forces retired in 2011 and 559 retired this year – 514 in January and February.
The minister attributed the retirement rate to Government incentive schemes and said the situation was likely to level out next year.
The cost of the pension budget overrun has been absorbed by savings in salary and allowance payments for the soldiers who have stepped down, Mr Shatter said.