Public service pensions bill rises to €129bn

THE total cost of paying public service pensions has risen to €129 billion despite government measures aimed at reducing the soaring pensions bill.

The bulk of the public pensions time-bomb has increased by 7.4% or nearly €9bn in one year, new figures reveal.

According to &C&AG, the rise in the public pension costs can be blamed on lower discount rates maintaining schemes as well as a rise in the numbers retiring.

The financial burden on the state of providing for the retiring citizens in public employment is spread across several sectors.

The largest sector with pension liabilities now is teachers (€30.9bn) followed by health (€24.3bn) and the civil service (€14.2bn).

Other public sectors with high occupational pension liabilities include the Gardaí (€8.9bn), the Defence Forces (€8.8bn), non-commercial state bodies (€7.6bn) and local authorities (€7.3bn).

The C&AG found that the total cost of the public servants pensions bill was estimated at €116.4bn at the end of last year.

But when entitlements of public servants who pay full rate PRSI are added, the bill rises to €129bn, he found.

The report also found that while the Government had taken measures to reduce public servant pension costs in March last year by reducing amounts paid into schemes, the saving only amounted to €837 million for that year.

Meanwhile, the C&AG report also reveals the actual amounts in the National Pension Reserve Fund are far below what is needed to meet future social welfare costs and public service pensions.

The fund at the end of 2009 was valued at €22.3bn.

The fund is expected to contribute to paying pension costs from 2025 to the year 2055.


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner