Consultant got €400k lump sum on retirement
One consultant psychiatrist working in the HSE received a lump-sum payment of just under €400,000 when retiring last year.
The €393,621 payout to the un-named consultant who worked in HSE West formed part of a €61m pensions bonanza for retiring HSE workers last year.
In total, 84 retirees received lump sums in excess of €100,000 last year with 75 receiving sums between €100,000 and €200,000, and eight receiving lump sums between €200,000 and €300,000.
The figures show that nine of the top 10 recipients were consultants, with the top five receiving sums in excess of €250,000.
The aggregate payment to the top 10 recipients totalled €2.57m and they were paid to five consultant anaesthetists, three consultant psychiatrists, one consultant radiologist and one Director of Public Health.
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 figures show that one consultant anaesthetist working in the HSE Dublin/Mid Leinster received the second highest lump sum last year of €283,148, with a consultant psychiatrist in the same HSE area receiving a lump-sum payment of €275,529.
Chief executive of small and medium-size business organisation ISME, Mark Fielding, said that the consultants along with the higher paid public and civil servants "represent the real golden circle in Ireland".
Mr Fielding said: "For anyone in the private sector to be able to fund these pension lump sums and continuing pension payments, you would really need to win the Lotto. The size of these lump sums are really phenomenal.
"It is no wonder that workers in the private sector, when they see these lump-sum payments, look at their colleagues in the public sector with envy – and awe."
Consultant psychiatrist and former Labour TD Dr Moosajee Bhamjee retired from the HSE in June 2011 after 37 years' service.
He said: "I can understand why people would be angry over the size of the lump-sum payments, but the State is legally bound to pay the lump sums."
Dr Bhamjee pointed out that the workers in question had paid into their pensions throughout their working lives.