Pension worth more than basic pay for backbencher
TRANSPORT Minister Noel Dempsey will be able to retire with a total package worth €313,000 -- and his annual pension will be worth more than he would have earned if he returned to the Dail as a backbench opposition TD.
Mr Dempsey (57) and Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, who said he would retire earlier this month, were elected to the Dail in 1987 and both have been in Cabinet for 13 years.
They have similar pension claims, but their payouts will be slightly reduced from what they previously could have expected.
Cuts to public sector pensions announced in last month's Budget means they will lose about €9,200 per year.
The total package is worth €313,100 to Mr Dempsey over the next year.
He would have received around €322,300 if he retired before the Budget.
Mr Dempsey, who will also draw down another pension from his years as a teacher, once he hits his mid 60s, yesterday denied retiring because of the pensions, which he acknowledged were generous.
"My family would know that a long time ago I said the election nearest my 55th birthday, I would seriously consider whether I was going to go on after that," he said.
"If things hadn't gone the way they have gone over the last two or three years, this decision would have been made probably about 18 months ago."
The breakdown of his payments includes an annual ministerial pension of about €69,200 and a TD's pension of around €50,600 per year.
Mr Dempsey will enjoy a pension lump sum of around €160,000; a termination lump sum of around €17,000 and a year of monthly termination payments from the Oireachtas worth another €66,900.
The €50,600 TD's pension only kicks in once the monthly termination payments, paid the year immediately after retirement, have stopped.
He will also get additional payments for serving as chief whip in Albert Reynolds's government in the early 1990s.
Mr Dempsey's annual pension of around €119,800 will be worth almost €30,000 more than the basic €92,672 a TD in the next Dail could expect.