Tuesday 20 February 2018

Medb Ruane: The vultures have swooped on a whole generation's retirement nest eggs

This is a story about pensions. It's not going to be funny or stimulating because, well, pensions are like homework. You can't evade it forever lest the teachers find out.

The tale is depressing. Think Michael Fingleton (€27m), Bertie Ahern, Jim (I'm worth it!) McDaid. Or Richie Boucher, who magnanimously refused a €1.5m pension top-up from Bank of Ireland in a gesture of solidarity with taxpayers who were footing the bill. He stands to earn a further €623,000 a year for five more years. That totals over €3m.

These cash-lush vistas are so far away from normal expectations it's enough to make you heave. People's pension funds took massive hits, especially outside the State sector, and, although it's almost two years since Lehmans fell, the Irish Pensions Board is thinking of doing something about them. It wants more power.

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