Wednesday 22 November 2017

Golden pension holders run for retirement hills

PERHAPS it is all part of the job creation initiative? The Director of Public Prosecutions, James Hamilton, is just one of what may become a flood of senior public servants and judges retiring early to save themselves an awful lot of money.

This creates attractive opportunities for promotion lower down the ladder. However, this is unlikely to have been the purpose of the measures which make it so attractive to clear out the desk and head for the retirement villa. Instead, it is a consequence of the very generous treatment meted out to senior officials in the cutbacks. A pension levy was imposed, and pay was cut by 10pc. Crucially, however, pensions were not cut in proportion. Absurdly generous retirement benefits became more absurd, rising to a possible 60pc of the final salary, and indexed for life.

Just how generous that is was revealed by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin yesterday when he put that accumulated cost of public sector pensions at €106bn. That is the equivalent to three-quarters of the present entire national debt over which there is so much concern.

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