Public service pensions
Sir, – In an otherwise informative article on public service pensions (Pension Focus,October 26th) Barry McCall is incorrect when he states “workers across the civil and public service began making contributions to their pensions for the first time” in the mid 1990s.
In fact, most public servants have always made contributions to their pension. Secondary teachers have been contributing since the foundation of the Secondary Teachers Superannuation scheme in 1928.The change in the mid 1990s was that those new entrants to the public service would now pay a full rather reduced stamp thus entitling them to a State pension. However, this State pension is not in addition to the public service pension but is subsumed into it. A public servant who will be in receipt of a €500 pension after 40 years contribution will get €230 from the State pension and €270 from their public service pension. It could be said that since 1995 public servants are getting the same for more. However, since 2004 the retiring age for new entrants has been raised to 65 and those who access their pension before this age will suffer a penalty even if they have already worked and made contributions for 40 years.
When the cost of public sector pensions is being discussed it is well to remember that in 2009 public servants made €3.1 billion pension contributions and €2.6 billion was paid out in pensions. Since then we have the pension levy of 7 per cent which amounts to another €2 billion. All of these contributions go into day to day spending and the pension reserve fund has been raided to fund our banks. – Yours, etc,