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Shane Ross: Nama offers ‘gold-plated’ pensions to attract staff

NAMA is offering a "gold-plated" pension scheme for some of its executives as it seeks to attract new staff.

All Nama staff are employees of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

New joiners to the NTMA become members of the NTMA defined benefit scheme which is based on career-averagearnings with benefits payable from the age of 65,” according to a spokeswoman.

The introduction of this gold-plated pension scheme comes as companies around the country wrestle with vast pension scheme deficits and seek to reduce employee perks by slashing defined benefits pensions schemes.

Nama is set to spend up to €2.3bn on consultants, advisers and fees over the next decade.

Salary levels in Nama and its sister agency the NTMA are “confidential”, finance minister Brian Lenihan told the Dail recently.

It has been speculated that Nama managing director Brendan McDonagh has bagged a salary worth in excess of €500,000 a year — double that of Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

“All Nama staff are employees of the NTMA and as each employee has an individual contract with the agency, no two contracts will be the same,” according to the spokeswoman.

Nama has been on a hiring spree recently, although the increasingly secretive organisation has refused to divulge names of its new recruits.

Nama recently awarded contracts to 38 companies to provide advisory services in evaluating business plans of the major developers. Property firm Jones Lang La Salle won one of the contracts.

Last year the Sunday Independent revealed that Nama’s top property decision maker John Mulcahy held €2.3m worth of shares in Jones Lang la Salle. Nama has indicated that it had procedures to prevent conflicts of interest occurring.

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