Saturday 22 November 2014

FF and SF call for massive cuts to banker pension deals

Published 21/11/2012 | 05:00

BANKERS' pensions would be slashed by as much as 99pc on amounts over €100,000 under separate proposals put forward by opposition parties.

It comes as new figures show that 47 people have retired on pensions of above €100,000 a year since 2008, after leaving either a bailed-out bank, NAMA or the NTMA.

Four people have retired from the Department of Finance on similarly high pensions.

Yesterday, Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath and Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty vied with each other to bring forward tough new proposals aimed at slashing such payouts.

But Finance Minister Michael Noonan insists there are major hurdles to be overcome before pensions can be touched.

Both sets of proposals would leave the first €100,000 untouched. But under Fianna Fail's proposals, pensions of between €100,000 and €150,000 would be cut by 20pc.

Pensions of €150,000 to €200,000 would be reduced by 30pc, and those in excess of €400,000 would be cut by 40pc.

That would mean a reduction of at least €160,000 a year for the highest paid.

The cuts are modelled on a 20pc cut already imposed on the pensions of some retired civil servants.

Fianna Fail says that these cuts could be imposed by amending the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010.

It would not fall foul of constitutional protections or existing pension law, Michael McGrath claimed.

Legal advice showed it would stand a Constitutional challenge.

The proposed changes would apply to pensions of the retired staff of AIB, Bank of Ireland, the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society as well as EBS and Permanent TSB –all bailed out.

Under plans put forward by Mr Doherty, any pension of more than €100,000 from the rescued banks would be hit with a 99pc levy on amounts above that figure.

He also wants new levies on pay for current bank staff, including a 40pc levy on pay over €250,000, a year.

Perks

Meanwhile, as the pension controversy continues to rage new figures released to Sinn Fein show that almost 3,000 staff at bailed-out banks still earn over €100,000 a year, including pay and perks.

Bank of Ireland (BoI) and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) were already known to be still paying some executives more than the €500,000.

They are the only banks now paying above the cap on bankers' pay, the data shows.

Seven staff at IBRC and 20 at BoI earn more than half a million euro a year, when salary and other allowances are included, including BoI's Richie Boucher and Mike Aynsley at IBRC.

Irish Independent

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