Pension entitlements more valuable than salaries for Ministers of State
A spokesman for Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said he had no comment to make on the figures.
Methodology How the figures were calculated
Working out an Oireachtas member’s pension entitlement
To calculate a TD or Senator’s basic pension divide his or her salary by 40 and multiply it by the number of years they’ve served in the Dáil/Seanad, capped at 20 years.
TDs and Senators are also entitled to a once-off pension lump sum of three times their annual pension.
So, for example, a TD to which the 20-year cap applies would receive €46,336 annually and a lump sum of€139,008 on retirement.
On top of this, TD and Senators who have served more than six months in the Oireachtas are also entitled to a termination lump sum equal to two months’ salary (for a TD this sum is currently €15,445).
If TDs/Senators have served for longer than three years they are also entitled to up to 12 monthly payments based on their length of service (for a TD the maximum payment total over 12 months is €57,920).
Only after these payments end do they begin to get an annual pension.
Working out the pension of a Minister/ Minister of State/ Ceann Comhairle/ Cathoirleach, etc
A number of positions attract a pension entitlement over and above that earned by a TD or Senator. These are Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister, Attorney General and Ceann Comhairle (called “ministerial” offices for pension purposes) and Minister of State, Leas Cheann Comhairle, Cathaoirleach, Leas-Chathaoirleach and Leader of the Seanad (called “secretarial” posts for pension purposes).
To receive this pension entitlement a TD/Senator has to have served for at least two years in one of these offices. The pension is then worked out as a percentage of the office holder’s salary.
After two years a retiring office-holder is entitled to a pension equal to 20 per cent of his or her salary. After three years this becomes 25 per cent, four years 30 per cent, and five years 35 per cent. The maximum entitlement is 60 per cent after 10 years’ service. If a TD/Senator is in line to receive a “ministerial” pension but previously served in a “secretarial” office, half the time they spent in the latter post is reckonable at the “ministerial” rate. So, for example, if a TD has served both as a Minister and a Minister of State then half their service as a junior minister is reckonable at the higher rate.
Working out an office-holder’s long-term pension projection (ie how much the annuities would cost in the private sector).
First add together the pension entitlements reached in steps 1 and 2 above.
A senior Minister who has served 20 years or more would be entitled to €46,336 (their TD pension) plus €45,962 (their “ministerial” pension), making a total pension entitlement of €92,298.
This figure is then entered into a pension calculator using an inflation cap of 3 per cent to work out how much the annuities would cost in the private sector.
Working out an office-holder’s long-term pension projection in cases where the TD/Senator is not yet the requisite age to receive a pension.