Sunday 10 December 2017

Port pays €43,000 in annual pension contributions per worker

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

DUBLIN Port is paying an average of €43,000 per worker a year into its company pension fund, the highest in the country.

The McCarthy report shows the port is making the highest level of pension contribution of any firm in the State -- whether public or private.

The huge pension payments represent 63pc of the average wage for the 157 staff members in the port company. Average wages in Dublin Port were €68,000 in 2009.

But when the pension was added in, the average pay jumped to €110,600.

The company's contribution per employee was even higher in earlier years. The pension contribution was as high as 430pc of average pay in 2007, when Dublin Port put €52m it got from the sale of the Irish Glass Bottle site into the pension scheme. The fund now has a deficit of just over €1m.

Other state-owned companies where high pension contributions are made include forestry firm Coillte, with an average contribution of €18,100 in 2009, equal to 40pc of the average salary.

The combined pension fund deficits of the 11 companies examined in the McCarthy study was €3.4bn in 2009.

Some €500m of this was made up of the deficit at the ESB fund.

The report notes staff at the electricity company have since reached agreement on new pension arrangements, which will radically reduce the shortfall in the scheme.

Up to recently, workers in the ESB enjoyed a defined-benefit pension, where workers with full service get a retirement income of half of their final salary.

But from next year they will lose this defined-benefit pension. However, workers will retain their defined-benefit pension rights for the previous years they worked up to 2012.

Irish Independent

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