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December 09, 2010


Helena Sheehan

Thanks for that, Michael. It has been as if nobody notices or cares about public service pensions. Most are not getting anything remotely like what Roddy Molloy or Dermot Ahern have or will get.

Colum McCaffery

An excellent and much needed piece. You probably won't be surprised when I sat that NO ONE should receive a state pension in excess of €50k.


"However, we can extrapolate from CSO data that shows the median public sector wage to be 83 percent of the average public sector wage."

Well, we can extrapolate between any incompatible data sets we like, but the results will just be meaningless.

But why are the data sets incompatible you ask, surely current and retired public servants have the same earnings profiles?

Well, no. The vast majority of retirees are have a pension calculated on the basis of the top point on the salary scale, whereas most serving public servants are only partially along their scales.

Then you've got the fact that many more current public servants are on job share than was the case when the retirees were still working back in the day of Mammy-stays-at-home single income families.

Not to mention the fact that current public servants enjoy many allowances, premia or overtime payments that are not reckonable for pension purposes.

So all in all, you could hardly find two superficially similar datasets any less suitable for such 'extrapolation'.


Brian Lenihan has been emphatic that it is not true to say all pensioners were spared. He repeatedly clarified that only those on the state pension were protected and that public service pensions were being reduced.

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