Council bosses get €1.8m pension bonanza

Seven retiring local authority chiefs executive last year enjoyed a pensions bonanza walking away with a combined pension lump sum of €1.8m.

Council bosses get €1.8m pension bonanza

New figures yesterday provided by the Deptartment of the Environment show one chief executive, Michael Malone, retired from his post from Kildare County Council with a pension lump sum of €290,658 after a 42-year career in local government.

Mr Malone was 60 when he retired last April and along with a gross lump sum payment of €217,994, he received a special severance gratuity payment of €72,664.

Along with the lump sum payment, the department has confirmed Mr Malone is to receive a gross annual pension payment of €72,664.

The annual combined gross pension payments to the seven will cost the taxpayer €461,697 in 2015 and will cost taxpayers millions more in the years ahead to fund it.

The average lump sum payments along with the special severance payments for the seven work out at more than €257,000.

Chief executive of Isme Mark Fielding said yesterday that the lump sums and special severance lump sums are enough “to make your eyes water”.

He remarked: “The gravy train rumbles along for retiring council chiefs executive, who are not very retiring when it comes to availing of the public purse with annual pensions twice the average industrial wage.”

He said: “The fact remains that we pay out over €1bn more in public sector pensions than is being received from regular contributions and the pensions levy…. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny spoke this week of solving ‘inequalities’. Maybe he should look closer to home.”

Three CEOs in the group of seven each received pay-offs of €270,194 made up of gross lump payments of €202,646 and the special severance payments of €67,548.

The CEOs in question are Clare native Martina Moloney, who retired as CEO of Galway County Council, aged 54, last July; Caherciveen native Tom Curran, who retired as Kerry County Council CEO, aged 60, last June; and Joe Crockett, who retired as CEO of Kilkenny County Council, aged 55, last August. All three now receive annual gross pension payment sums of €67,548.

The figures show that former CEO of Cavan County Council, Jack Keyes last May received a lump sum of €245,034 made up of a gross lump sum payment of €182,207 and a special severance payment of €62,827 after a 10-year tenure at Cavan County Council.

The oldest of the seven CEOs to retire last year at 61, Mr Keyes, is to receive an annual gross pension of €60,735.

Former CEO of Roscommon County Council, Frank Dawson, last year received €188,481 in a gross lump sum payment and didn’t receive a special severance payment. Mr Dawson is to receive an annual gross pension payment of €62,827.

Tom Barry retired as CEO of Carlow County Council in January of this year, aged 59, after 41 years of service in local government.

Mr Barry received €251,308, made up of a lump sum pension payment of €188,481, and a special severance payment of €62,827.

The current Government has moved to end the gold-plated pension payments enjoyed with newly and recently appointed CEOs no longer able to avail of the generous pension terms that have been available up until now.

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