Almost one quarter of the workforce at the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) have looked to leave the State’s bad bank as it edges towards its winding-down date.
Nama bosses have put a halt to a third of those seeking to leave the agency by the end of this year, however.
According to new figures provided by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, the agency received 80 applications from staff seeking to avail of the generous terms in the agency’s voluntary redundancy programme announced earlier this year.
The agency is seeking to reduce its workforce from 342 to 291 by the end of the year and, in response to the scheme being over-subscribed, Nama has rejected 26 of the applications to leave, with three staff changing their minds.
In a written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Mr Noonan confirmed 51 of the applications have been accepted.
Nama is seeking to further reduce its workforce to 125 by the end of next year as it winds down its operations with speculation its work could be complete by the end of 2018 — a year earlier than was originally envisaged.
Departing staff at Nama for five years will be in line for redundancy payments of an average of €37,500 each.
The terms of the Nama redundancy scheme are in line with established public sector norms and grant two weeks statutory pay per year of service, capped at €600 per week, plus three additional weeks of base salary per year of service with an overall cap of two years base salary.
Average pay at Nama in 2014, including pension contributions, was just over €110,000 a year, or €2,115 a week.
Mr Noonan has previously confirmed the cost of Nama’s redundancy scheme and appropriate staff retention measures agreed with Nama will not exceed €20m.
The decision to slash staff numbers relatively early in the proposed 10-year life of Nama follows last year’s decision to accelerate the selloff of Nama assets to have repaid 80% of its original €32bn of senior debt by the end of 2016.
“I don’t believe there should be an inordinate rush to sell everything in the markets to private equity funds,” said Mr McGrath.
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