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Senior TDs in money if they retire in 50s - but workers told to wait until they hit 67

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in chaos over pension policies

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Brendan Howlin would be entitled to a substantial pension

Brendan Howlin would be entitled to a substantial pension

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Brendan Howlin would be entitled to a substantial pension

Some senior TDs can still retire in their 50s and claim gold-plated retirement packages while workers are being told they will have to wait until 67 to receive the State pension.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (59) and Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin (62) could both quit politics in the morning and be entitled to substantial annual pensions and severance payments.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney (47) could retire and claim a reduced pension and lump sum before he draws down his full package when he is 50.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were yesterday still in chaos over their positions on the pension age.

Fine Gael could not confirm its policy after Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty contradicted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's commitment to introduce a transitional payment matching the pension for anyone retiring at 65.

Struggled

Fianna Fail also struggled to set out its plans to review next year's increase in the pension age to 67. However, it has committed to introducing a transitional payment for people aged 65 and over who will be forced to leave their jobs.

The party's finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, said the review of the pension age is "not about kicking it down the road" but "being fair to people".

Both parties are waiting on official costings on their pension commitments from the Department of Finance before they publish their election manifestos.

They are also set to come under increasing pressure today when a Siptu-led coalition launches a campaign calling on the next government to abandon plans to increase the age for the State pension.

The coalition also includes the National Women's Council of Ireland, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland.

Siptu deputy general secretary Ethel Buckley said the parties must introduce legislation preventing the age increase once the new Dail is elected.

"Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are deliberately obfuscating the issue," Ms Buckley said.

While the pension age is set to increase, some politicians can still retire at 50. Those elected before April 1, 2004, can qualify for a full pension and lump sum from the age of 50.

They can retire on a reduced pension lump sum and pension at any time between the age of 45 and 49.

Those elected after April 1, 2004 must be 65 to qualify for a full pension and lump sum.

But they can retire on a reduced pension at any time between 55 and 65.

Mr Coveney, who was first elected in 1998, could retire in three years and be entitled to an estimated €78,287 annual pension along with €119,339 lump sum.

To buy his pension from a private pension company would cost an estimated €1,687,064.

His spokesperson said he has "no intention" of retiring and hopes to remain in public life for the "foreseeable future".

Mr Howlin, who was first elected in 1987, would be entitled to an estimated €140,399 lump sum and a €88,527 annual pension if he were to retire.

To buy his pension from a private pension company would cost an estimated €2,792,634.

"These are notional figures and I've no intention of drawing down a pension anytime soon," Mr Howlin said.

Campaigning

Mr Martin, who has been a TD for 31 years, would be entitled to an estimated €140,399 lump sum and a €88,527 annual pension if he were to retire. To buy his pension from a private pension company would cost an estimated €2,792,634.

A Fianna Fail spokesperson said Mr Martin is not retiring and is campaigning to lead the next government.

Meanwhile, former taoiseach Enda Kenny will be paid an estimated €100,000 annual pension after stepping down from public life.

Mr Kenny's full yearly payment takes into account his years serving as a minister and taoiseach and includes his €46,800 Dail pension. It would cost €3.2m to buy the same pension from a private company.