Taoiseach’s pension likely to be almost €130,000 a year

Enda Kenny’s retirement lump sum has been estimated at about € 378,000

The Taoiseach  will receive an Oireachtas pension based on his years as a TD as well as a pension based on his time as an office holder. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Taoiseach will receive an Oireachtas pension based on his years as a TD as well as a pension based on his time as an office holder. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s likely pension when he retires from the Oireachtas will be close to those of former taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern who receive an estimated €128,900.

The pension of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is likely to be almost €97,000 or 60 per cent of his salary.

Mr Kenny’s pension lump sum has been estimated at about €378,000 and Mr Noonan’s at €290,000.

The Taoiseach and Minister will receive Oireachtas pensions based on their years as TDs as well as pensions based on their time as office holders - in Mr Kenny’s case as a minister of state between 1986 and 1987, a Cabinet minister for three years from 1994 to 1997 and six years as Taoiseach, while Mr Noonan served 14 years as a Cabinet member.

Mr Kenny’s current salary as Taoiseach is €190,233 while Mr Noonan’s is €161,451.

Former taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern receive a pension based on their time as office holders of €83,918 in addition to their TD salaries. Former taoiseach John Bruton’s office holder pension is €75,713 and that of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave is €19,816.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has declined to outline the likely pension of the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance on the grounds that they have not retired.

A department spokesman said they would not “speculate” on the likely pension as both Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan were still in office.

The current basic salary for a TD is €89,965 and the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance will have an annual TD’s pension of €44,982.50 or half their salary, based on having served more than 20 years.

TDs’ salaries will increase next April to €92,672 under public pay restoration agreements and Mr Kenny’s and Mr Noonan’s pensions would increase accordingly afterwards should there be no election in the interim.

The Department pointed out that the Government decided to waive pensions due to them under pay restoration for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The lump sum retirement payment for a TD with more than 20 years service is up to one and a-half times of salary.

In 2011 a stop was put to the accrual of both a teacher’s and an Oireachtas member’s pension at the same time and Mr Kenny did not claim the teacher’s pension he was entitled to while still in office as Taoiseach.

The question of Mr Kenny’s salary and lump sum was first raised in the Dáil on Thursday by Solidarity TD Mick Barry who asked how Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe could defend a lump sum payment of €378,000 and a pension of €126,000 for an outgoing Taoiseach while defending “scandalous two-tier” rates for young workers in the public service.

The Minister said however that he wanted to secure an agreement on public sector pay that recognised “contributions of 308,000 public servants to our country, society and economy”.

He said the average level of public pension was €23,000 and anyone on a pension below €32,400 by January next year would have the public service pension reduction eliminated.