Pension entitlements more valuable than salaries for Ministers of State
The pension entitlements accumulated each year by Ministers of State while in office can be more valuable than the salaries they receive.
The salary for a Minister of State is €37,370. They also receive a TD’s salary of €92,672, making for a total of €130,042.
Ministers of State who serve for five years (a full Dáil term) are entitled to 35 per cent of their Minister of State salary as a pension, or €13,079 per year.
A married man aged 60 when appointed and who served a full five-year term as a Minister of State would accumulate a pension entitlement that would cost €432,327 if bought today. A lump sum entitlement would be extra.
That value translates into €86,465 per year, in accumulating pension entitlements, or more than twice the value of the salary received for the office.
On this basis, such a Minister of State would be getting a total annual remuneration of €123,835 a year for his or her work as a Minister of State.
The Minister of State is also earning his or her TD’s salary of €92,672 and the associated pension benefits under that scheme.
Most Ministers of State will be aged less than 65 when this Dáil term comes to an end in 2016. Those that were elected after 2004 will have to wait until they are 65 until they become entitled to a pension, while those who were elected before that date become entitled to a pension once they reach 50 years of age.
Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes will be 46 when this Dáil term comes to an end.
He was first elected to the Dáil in 1997 and was first appointed a Minister of State by this Government. He will be entitled to begin drawing down a pension at age 50 if he is no longer in politics.
The pension he will be entitled for his five years as a Minister of State, should he remain in that position until 2016, would cost €657,152 if bought in the marketplace today.
This translates into an accruring entitlement worth €131,430 a year. When salary is added, his remuneration as a Minister of State is €168,800 a year, with his TD’s salary of €92,672 and his pension entitlements under the TD pension scheme being additional.
As well as Ministers and Ministers of State, six other office holders also qualify for pensions under the ministerial pensions scheme. These are the Ceann Comhairle, the Leas Cheann Comhairle, the Attorney General, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, the Leas Chathaoirleach of the Seanad and the Leader of the Seanad.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett will have a pension entitlement at the end of the Dáils term that would cost €2.2 million if bought in the marketplace today. He will also have an entitlement to a lump sum of €139,008.
Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Paddy Burke will have a pension entitlement that would also cost €2.2 million today, and an entitlement to a lump sum of €98,432.
The six officer holders concerned will have pension rights at the end of the Dáil term that would cost €10.2 million if bought by way of annuities today.