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Yates earns €49,000 in TD and ministerial pensions

FORMER Fine Gael minister Ivan Yates is paid pensions worth about €49,000 from his period as a TD and minister.

The latest published figures show Mr Yates is paid a TD's pension of €43,700 and a ministerial pension of €4,900.

Mr Yates earned more than €240,000 in pension payments before the age of 50.

He first picked up his Oireachtas pension at 43 -- a full 23 years before the pay date of 66 for the state pension.

He has been allowed to surpass other public sector workers who are forced to wait until up to the age of 65 to receive a full retirement pot -- or the age of 50 for a reduced payment.

The former Wexford TD is one of just a select number of politicians who have picked up early pensions.

Mr Yates is co-presenter of Newstalk radio's 'The Breakfast Show' and writes a weekly column for the 'Irish Examiner'.

The former Agriculture Minister, who turned 51 last year, became the youngest member of the Dail when he was elected in 1981 at the age of 21 and served seven Dail terms.

Between 1994 and 1997, he was Agriculture Minister in the Rainbow coalition. Although touted as possible leadership material, he decided to retire from politics in 2002.

Every TD and senator is entitled to a standard Oireachtas pension for the time they served in high office, once they leave politics, or lose their seat.

At present, Oireachtas rules forbid anyone elected after April 1, 2004, from getting their pension until the age of 65.

However, it still stands that anyone elected before 2004, who has two years of service, can still get a reduced pension pot between the ages of 45 and 49 -- and get a full pension if they are aged 50.

Irish Independent