Ahern to be paid €320,000 in first year after retirement

 

MINISTER FOR Justice Dermot Ahern will receive almost €320,000 in the first 12 months after he retires from the Dáil from a combination of pension payments and once-off payments.

More than €175,000 of that will be tax free. A year after retirement, he will be entitled to a combined annual ministerial and TD’s pension of €128,300, more than he would earn if he remained a TD.

A TD with his long-service record currently earns €98,400. New rules, which will come in from the next general election, will mean former ministers serving as Oireachtas members will no longer be entitled to half their ministerial pensions as they are now.

Mr Ahern will benefit from five separate arrangements in the first 12 months after retirement. While his Dáil salary has dropped from €106,582 to €98,000, it is the former, higher, Oireachtas salary that will be taken into account for pension purposes. He will be paid a tax-free pension lump sum, to which all public servants are entitled upon retirement, equalling 1½ times his salary. This will amount to €159,973, which is 1.5 times his Dáil salary. There is also another tax-free amount called a termination allowance especially for members of the Oireachtas. That equates to two months of salary, or €17,763 in Mr Ahern’s case. The total lump sum will be €177,636.

In addition to that, Mr Ahern’s pension payment for the first year will be slightly higher because of a termination payment allowance that pays the pension at 75 per cent of salary for the first six months, before reverting to 50 per cent – the pension to which TDs who have been in the Dáil for 20 years are entitled.

Mr Ahern is also entitled to the highest ministerial salary, having served over 10 years as a minister. The pension to which he is entitled is 60 per cent of his ministerial salary. Like his TD’s salary, his ministerial salary has dropped, from €125,000 to €98,000. However, he is entitled to use the higher salary for pension purposes. That amounts to €75,000.

Mr Ahern (55) will be entitled to collect his pension as soon as he retires from the Dáil.