Monday 20 January 2020

Public service pension costs

IN reply to Mr Tobin (Letters, May 11), the breakdown of pension costs/contributions for the public service is as follows:

Those employed before 1995:

- Basic contribution of 6.5pc p/a (compulsory for full career).

- Cut in recommended pay of 3pc p/a in PCW agreement (1998) in lieu of early-retirement schemes. The schemes have now been almost completely withdrawn, but the 3pc p/a pay cut continues.

- Benchmarking Restrictions:

(a) In 2002, an unspecified pay discount because of "the particular characteristics" of public service "pension arrangements" (Section 2.17).

(b) In 2007, a further pay "discount" of 12pc was "applied" (Section 9.18.) due to the alleged "significantly more favourable" pension arrangements of public service workers.

Conservatively speaking, let us say these discounts amount to a pay cut of 2pc each or 4pc.

- The so-called "pension levy" -- a pay cut of about 7.5pc per annum pay cut. These amount to at least 21pc.

- Those employed after 1995:

These pay a more expensive PRSI "stamp" and a correspondingly smaller superannuation contribution and accordingly receive a correspondingly smaller public service pension, plus the "old age" pension, so that the combined payout at age 66 works out about the same.

Seán Fallon

Firhouse, Dublin 24

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