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College benefits to cost taxpayer

UNIVERSITY chiefs are to be questioned about giving expensive pension top-ups to staff against government advice.

The Dail Public Accounts Committee will ask the college heads to explain why millions of euro were awarded to senior staff and professors in extra benefits last year.

The top-ups will have to be covered by the taxpayer because the pension schemes are being transferred to the State.

It has been revealed that management at five universities gave 748 extra pension 'years' to 200 workers when they retired last year.

Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth all awarded the discretionary top-ups to staff.

The extra 'years' meant they could benefit from a bigger pension and increased lump-sum payment when they retired.

A Department of Finance directive had instructed the universities to cut back on the additional 'years'.

Irish Independent