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Department not legally obliged to pay Kenny his pension

ENDA Kenny claims he does not know much he has contributed to the teacher's pension he is now giving up.

When Mr Kenny hits 60 in April, he is entitled to a deferred pension -- but on Sunday he announced he was waiving his teacher pension entitlements.

Nor, he has claimed, will he seek a repayment of his own contributions to the scheme.

"He was very, very clear in his statement, he is giving up all future entitlements," a Fine Gael spokeswoman told the Irish Independent.

But the party could not say how much Mr Kenny has contributed.

There is nothing to legally prevent Mr Kenny from not collecting his teacher's pension.

In order to receive their superannuation, teachers have to formally claim it from the Department of Education.If they don't claim, the department does not have to pay it out.

Once a teacher has paid into then scheme for the maximum 40 years, the department notifies them they there is no further benefit accruing.

Teachers may retire on full pension at that point, or work on until 65 and claim it. Pensions experts last night explained the contributions made by the Fine Gael leader would be paltry compared with the benefits that would be paid out at retirement. This is because his contributions were made a long time ago.

Teachers with a full 40 years' service are entitled to a pension of half their salary at retirement. This would work out at around €30,000 a year for someone with full service. They also get a tax-free lump sum of one-and-a-half times their salary at retirement -- around €100,000 for a teacher who has maximum service.

To buy a pension like this in the private sector would require spending of up to €1.3m, according to Aidan McLoughlin of the Independent Trustee Company.

Mr Kenny is waiving one of the finest retirement deals around.

Irish Independent