Friday 19 January 2018

Nama high-fliers to exit agency with average pay-offs of €42,000 each

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the current redundancies will save Nama €5.3m on an annualised basis
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the current redundancies will save Nama €5.3m on an annualised basis

Gordon Deegan

Thirty-six high-fliers at Nama earning over €100,000 are to exit the agency door at the end of the year with an average pay-off of €42,000 each.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said 50 Nama employees have opted for a voluntary redundancy programme as the agency winds down its operations.

In a written Dail reply to Deputy Michael McGrath (FF), Minister Noonan has confirmed that 36 of the 50 to opt for voluntary redundancy earn between €100,000 and €200,000 with the remaining 14 workers earning less than €100,000.

No employee earning more than €200,000 has opted for the scheme.

Mr Noonan said the departures will save the agency €5.3m on an annualised basis. "These costs include base salary, employer PRSI costs and employer pension costs," he said.

Mr Noonan said that the cost of the voluntary redundancy scheme for the 50 will be approximately €2.1m.

Yesterday was the deadline for acceptance forms to be lodged with Nama's redundancy scheme and Minister Noonan stressed that "these figures are indicative until agreements have been signed and returned".

Almost one quarter of the workforce expressed an interest in the scheme. However, bosses put a halt to a third of those seeking to leave the agency by the end of this year.

Figures provided by Minister Noonan show the agency received 80 applications from staff seeking to avail of the scheme's generous terms announced earlier this year.

The agency is seeking to reduce its workforce from 342 to 291 by the end of the year and in response to the scheme being over-subscribed, Nama rejected 26 of the applications to leave with three staff changing their mind and opting to stay, with one who had opted for the voluntary redundancy scheme deciding to leave now.

Nama is seeking to further reduce its workforce to 125 by the end of 2016 as it winds down its operations.

Based on the payout in the current redundancy plan, the agency will pay out €6.97m for a further 166 employees to take the redundancy package in 2016 but save the agency €17.5m in annualised savings.

The terms of the Nama redundancy scheme are in line with established public sector norms and grant two weeks statutory pay per year of service, capped at €600 per week, plus three additional weeks of base salary per year of service with an overall cap of two years base salary.

Average pay, including pension contributions, at Nama in 2014 was just over €110,000 a year - or €2,115 a week.

Minister Noonan has previously confirmed that the overall cost of Nama's redundancy scheme and appropriate staff retention measures will not exceed €20m.

Deputy McGrath said: "There is now a considerable degree of uncertainty about the future of Nama with Minister Noonan seemingly backtracking on his plans for an early wind up in favour of it turning it in to a property development agency.

He added: "This raises the question of the number of staff and level of expertise it will require. This issue should be clarified before Nama embarks on completing further redundancies."

Irish Independent

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