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Saturday 24 February 2018

Appleby agrees to stay after deal done on €300,000 package

Paul Appleby
Paul Appleby

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE senior public servant leading the investigation into Anglo Irish Bank last night postponed his retirement after he was promised he could keep his bumper €300,000 pension package.

Paul Appleby, the Director of Corporate Enforcement, dropped a bombshell on ministers by yesterday announcing he was leaving his job before the completion of one of the biggest investigations in the history of the State.

His retirement would have meant three of the top Anglo investigation figureheads would have retired by the end of next month, after two senior gardai also stepped down recently, and would have dealt the investigation a major blow.

Mr Appleby (57) was one of almost 8,000 public servants who availed of a government offer allowing them retire with lump sums and pensions based on their wages before they were cut during the recession.

The deadline for the offer was yesterday, but after coming under pressure by the Coalition, Mr Appleby will now step down in six months' time.

But his pension will be based on his pre-recession salary of €150,000. It is currently €146,000.

Under a deal being hammered out last night, Mr Appleby will also draw down his normal salary for the next six months, while the Government looks for a successor.

The deal is being finalised by officials in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The Attorney General's office was also involved to ensure the deal is watertight, and it is hoped to be officially signed off on today or tomorrow.

Sources said Mr Appleby would have "no diminution in terms" as a result of his decision to stay on.

Government sources also said the extra time should be enough to get the majority of work on the Anglo investigation completed.

"Hopefully there will be a lot of movement in the next six months," one source said.

The negotiations ensured Mr Appleby managed to hold on to his pre-cut deal -- even though rank-and-file nurses, gardai and teachers stepping down in six months will see their pensions based on reduced wages.With less than 39 years' service, he will not qualify for the full pension rate -- which is half of salary.

If he retired on his post-cut salary, he would get a lump sum of €219,000 and an annual pension of slightly less than €73,000.

Instead he will retire on a lump sum of €225,000 and an annual pension of €73,000.

The last-minute offer was made to Mr Appleby -- who had insisted his departure would not "impede" the "successful conclusion" of the Anglo probe -- after Jobs Minister Richard Bruton informed ministers of the resignation at yesterday's cabinet meeting.

Ministers decided to try to persuade Mr Appleby to stay on, and officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform immediately entered talks with him.

prosecutions still a long way off: PAGE 24

Irish Independent

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