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Saturday 19 August 2017

Cuts to package terms for civil servants

John Drennan

John Drennan

Retirement terms for top-level civil service mandarins will be reduced by more than a quarter-of-a-million euro under new legislation that will be published later this week by the Public Sector Reform Minister Brendan Howlin.

Widespread public outrage over the recent €713,000 retirement package of Dermot McCarthy was the catalyst for changes in the terms and conditions enjoyed by Ireland's public sector elite.

The Sunday Independent has learnt, however, that legislation being published next week will aim to make major cuts in the future pension terms of senior civil service mandarins. After February 12 next year, the lump sums that any secretary general should receive on retirement will be reduced by an expected €106,000, whilst their annual pensions will be reduced by €35,000.

Mr Howlin, however, also intends to end the special severance payments for secretary generals, which in the case of Dermot McCarthy consisted of a once-off payment of €142,760.

The minister cannot abolish the current arrangements for secretary generals but he told the Sunday Independent: "I am working on proposals to have the special retirement severance package terminated. It is a matter simply of seeing how I can do that."

It is believed future top mandarins, who would have been looking forward to a similar taxpayer-funded bonanza to those secured by Dermot McCarthy, are less than happy.

Mr Howlin hinted at a certain lack of enthusiasm as he noted of negotiations with the top mandarins that: "They've understood the necessity for it."

Sunday Independent

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