Retiring gardai will get average pay-off of €107k
WITH an average €107,000 payoff, along with an average €33,000-a-year pension, it's no wonder there's a rush by senior gardai to take up their retirement package.
The generous payments to those with 30 years' service on the force are on offer for officers who quit this year as part of the Government's plan to cut numbers in the public sector.
Around 300 gardai, including many in senior positions, are set to quit before the end of this month.
But it's causing a headache for the force's management as it will deplete the senior ranks -- and Justice Minister Alan Shatter is fighting with Cabinet to be allowed select replacements.
Of course the senior ranks can expect even better gratuity payments than the average of €107,000, while rank-and-file officers will get less.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said that by the end of this month, when the changes in public service pensions kick in, there will be 19 vacancies at Chief Superintendent level and 49 at Superintendent, as well as four vacancies at Assistant Commissioner level.
Last year, 51 gardai were selected for promotion to the positions of Assistant Commissioner, Chief Superintendent and Superintendent, but none has been given the green light by Mr Shatter.
The Justice Minister was expected to discuss the garda vacancies at today's Cabinet meeting. The Garda Commissioner said he was confident key vacancies in the force would be filled "very soon" following a submission to the Cabinet by Mr Shatter. Mr Callinan said it was crucial his senior command posts were not left vacant.
"It is important that those positions are filled. Everybody is aware of that, including the Minister, who has worked very, very hard on my behalf to make sure we get the requisite promotions and I'm confident that's going to happen very, very soon."
The retiring gardai are set to walk away with a shared €42m this year alone.
Figures show that the 300 retiring gardai will receive lump sum payments totalling around €32m, averaging at almost €107,000 per member.
They will also get their pensions on top of this at an average €33,000 per annum at a cost of €10m this year, the Department of Justice figures show. Last week, it was revealed teachers set to retire by the February 29 deadline will get lump sum payments of €97,000 each.
The estimated 1,600 teachers who have applied for the deal will also receive annual pensions of €32,300, with the total bill for the first year close to €212m.
Many of the retiring teachers are expected to be rehired as the department struggles to fill resulting vacancies.