Ibec calls for cap on costs of pensions for public servants (The Irish Times)

04 November 2011

Employers group Ibec has said the Government must move to cap the escalating cost of the provision of public sector pensions and introduce reforms in this area.

Ibec describes as "very worrying" the revelation last week that the State's bill for providing pensions for serving and retired staff in the public service was now €75 billion.

Ibec director Brendan McGinty said that 10 years ago, this figure was estimated at €25 billion.

Among the reforms put forward by Ibec are the introduction of contribution rate cap beyond which employees would have to fund any pension liabilities on an equal basis.

Ibec also said that the Government should move quickly to complete and publish a detailed actuarial analysis of the pension liabilities for public sector employees.

It also said that all public servants should be required to contribute towards the cost of funding retirement benefits and that staff should be made aware of the value of their pensions.

Ibec suggested that payslips should record the indicative value of pension contribution rates.

The employers' organisation said that under current rules in the public service, in the majority of cases the pension payable was currently linked to the salary scale of the employee's former role.

Mr McGinty said that there were some retired public servants who were receiving more in pensions than they had earned in salaries for the job. He said this was not credible.

Ibec would be raising the pensions issue as part of discussions for public sector reform at the forthcoming national pay talks.