Ex-taoisigh received almost €100,000 in 2012 pensions

Three former leaders, two of whom received €99,907, received highest ministerial pensions among 120 TDs on list. The total bill for pensions for former office holders was €15m last year, of which almost €5m was paid to politicians.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern chats with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte during the All Ireland senior football championship semi-final between Mayo and Tyrone at Croke Park in August. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern chats with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte during the All Ireland senior football championship semi-final between Mayo and Tyrone at Croke Park in August. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fri, Sep 27, 2013, 22:10

Former taoisigh Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern and Albert Reynolds all received almost €100,000 each in ministerial pensions in 2012, according to the latest figures.

The three former Fianna Fáil leaders, two of whom received €99,907, received the highest ministerial pensions among 120 TDs on the published list, which also includes the two retired presidents, judges and others.

The total bill for pensions for the former office holders was €15m last year, of which almost €5m was paid to politicians.

Finance Accounts 2012

The pensions for Mr Cowen, Mr Ahern and Mr Reynolds have been reduced as a result of Budget changes as well as the two pay and productivity agreements with public sector unions. However, each is also entitled to a Dail deputy’s pension of more than €40,000 per annum, bringing their combined TD and ministerial pensions to more than €140,000.

The two highest pensions paid to former office holders were to former presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinsion. Ms McAleese was paid €141,082 in 2012 with Ms Robinson paid €134,883.

Other former ministers with high ministerial pensions include former Fine Gael taoiseach John Bruton (€91,224); former PD leader Michael McDowell (€74,026); former tanaiste Mary Harney (€79,597); and former Labour leader Dick Spring (€70,929). They are also entitled to TDs’ pensions.

A number of former ministers voluntarily surrendered their ministerial pensions in 2012. They include Liam Aylward (FF) €10,223,72; Michael Begley (FG) €2,992; Proinsias de Rossa (Lab) €26,304; Eithne Fitzgerald (Lab) €16,982; Maire Geoghegan Quinn (FF) €59,797; Michael D Higgins (€37,621); and Gay Mitchell (FG) €4,611.

Former ministers who forfeited their severance payments were Micheál Martin (FF) €34,935; Trevor Sargent (Greens) €2,232; Roisin Shortall (Lab) €6,522; Brendan Smith (FF) €33,964; and Eamon O Cuiv (FF) €33,964.

There are a number of current Fine Gael and Labour Ministers who were ministers in previous governments. They do not get paid pensions when serving as Ministers.

The former office holders in receipt of pensions include seven former attorneys general. They are David Byrne (€42,913); Dermot Gleeson (€47,753); Anthony Hederman (€60,403); John Murray (€67,474); John Rogers (€44,751); Peter Sutherland (€49,330); and Harry Whelehan (€53,840).

The most recently retired attorney general Paul Gallagher received a severance payment lump sum of €81,886 in 2012.

Other office holders with six figure pensions include former comptrollers and auditors general, John Purcell and PL McDonnell, each of whom received more than €112,000 in 2012.

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