E416k handshake for FF TDs

The three departing FF TDs in Kildare will take home almost E416,000 from the taxpayer in 2011.

The three departing FF TDs in Kildare will take home almost E416,000 from the taxpayer in 2011.

The payment consists of significant lump sums plus annual pensions.

North Kildare’s Aine Brady (56) and Michael Fitzpatrick (68), who have both served only one term in the Dail will get a lump sum of E43,780 each and a pension thereafter of E7,514 per annum.

Sean Power (50) on the other hand, although younger than the other two, was first elected to the Dail in 1989 and therefore has much longer service.

According to figures relased by the Department of Finance, after 21 years in the Dail, he will get a lump sum of E237,792 and an annual pension of E75,111 thereafter.

The figures, which were published over the weekend, do not include details of severance payments to former ministers because the Department would not release the information.

Therefore Sean Power and Aine Brady, by virtue of having been junior ministers, will receive more.

They will receive a separate annual pension payment based on a percentage of their ministerial salary.

As outgoing ministers they may, for the first two years, choose to take a severance payment or take their ministerial pension payments now.

All three will only receive the pension payment if and when they accept and have received the termination payment.

The pension payment, which is taxable, is based on the TD’s salary in 2008 and depends on how many years of service.

The lump sum is not taxable and is based on two months of their salary, unless they qualify for long-service increments of seven and then ten years service.

But that’s not all. TDs with more than 14 years service are will get three quarters of their salary for six months plus half of their monthly salary.

Those with fewer years get something similar, but on a sliding scale.

Only when all lump sum and termination payments have ceased does a TD receive their pension.

This is likely to be the last occasion when retiring (whether by stepping down or by losing their seat) TDs will get such generous payments.

A spokesperson for Fine Gael was quoted over the weekend as saying that they would abolish serverance payments for ministers and restrict pensions to those who have ceased to be members of the Dail and have reached retirment age.

The spokesman added that subsidies to pension schemes for politicians whose pension income exceeds E60,000 would be scrapped.