Conlan approached Mater about abating public service pension

Person brought back cannot earn more than original level of remuneration

Former CRC chief Brian Conlan

Former CRC chief Brian Conlan

Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 06:49

The former chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), Brian Conlan, approached his former employer the Mater hospital towards the end of last November about reducing his public service pension after the controversy over top-up payments had erupted.

Mr Conlan retired as chief executive of the Mater the previous December and took up the post of running the CRC at the beginning of July.

Under existing rules a person who has retired and is brought back into the public service cannot earn more than their original level of remuneration when their pension and new payments are combined. In such circumstances, the public service pension can be reduced or abated.

The Mater hospital told The Irish Times this week that it had received correspondence from Mr Conlan in relation to a pension abatement on November 22nd last year.

It said it had subsequently contacted the HSE on November 26th.

The Mater said that, as per its official responsibility, it had contacted the HSE pension policy unit which calculated the abatement amount and communicated this to the hospital for implementation.

The Irish Times reported on November 19th the full details of payments being made to senior executives in voluntary hospitals and agencies – section 38 organisations – based on information contained in Department of Health files.


Kiely remuneration
This included details that in 2012 the chief executive of the CRC, Paul Kiely (Mr Conlan’s predecessor), had been receiving a total remuneration package of €242,865. This comprised a HSE-funded salary of €106,900, a CRC-funded salary of €116,949 and a separate CRC-funded allowance of €19,016.

The following day, November 20th, Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil strongly criticised the culture of top-up payments for senior health service managers.

The HSE confirmed that contact was made with its Pensions Management Unit by the Mater hospital on November 26th saying it wished to apply the correct abatement, if applicable, to Mr Conlan’s pension with effect from October 1st 2013.