16,000 public servants to seek retirement before pension cut
UP to 6,000 additional public servants, on top of the normal retirements, are expected to retire before pension cuts are introduced in February.
The Finance Department said yesterday it expected between 4,000 and 6,000 staff to apply to retire over the next three months so they can avail of a higher pension than if they remained working.
Under the Croke Park agreement, public servants who retire before the end of February 2012 will have their pension and tax-free lump sum based on their 2009 salary which was in place before the public sector pay cuts of up to 14pc .
From March, any retiring public servant will have their pension and tax-free lump sum based on their current, reduced salary.
"We expect between 14,000 and 16,000 to apply to leave before February," a department spokesman said yesterday. "The benefit in going in February is your pension is based on pre-cuts to salaries, which is the selling point to it."
Around 5,000 civil servants retire in a given year, he added, meaning that, in 2011 and 2012, the total leaving would normally be around 10,000.
However up to 16,000 people are expected to apply to leave before February. Applications are still being processed.
The Government has to cut €1.2bn from the public pay bill as part of the EU/IMF bailout package. However, there has been concern that the departure of senior staff may result in services being affected.