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Mater Hospital ‘refutes’ suggestions of operating a CRC ‘phantom fund’

The hospital has identified where €660,000 in annual pension fund fees from the clinic goes, following suggestions that it didn’t exist.

Former CRC CEO Paul Kiely followed by Chairman James Nugent leave Leinster House this evening.
Former CRC CEO Paul Kiely followed by Chairman James Nugent leave Leinster House this evening.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 11.12pm

THE MATER HOSPITAL has ‘absolutely refuted’ suggestions that it held a multi-million euro pension fund on behalf of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) that didn’t exist, and say it is superannuation scheme.

It follows a heated exchange in the Public Accounts committee this afternoon in which former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely said that the organisation is paying the hospital €660,000 a year to administer the fund, although he was unaware of whether it actually existed.

In a statement this evening, the Mater Hospital explained that this fund is part of the Voluntary Hospital Superannuation Scheme.

They said that it is “in line with Public Sector pension policy, whereby all pensions are funded from current revenues, as is the case with all Public Hospitals”.

The statement explained the arrangement is due to a legacy issue which first arose in the 1970’s.

The CRC was unable to receive funds from the Department of Health as it was not classed as a hospital.

The decision was made to route funds through the nearest hospital “in order to overcome this difficulty”.

However, the hospital says this arrangement changed in the early 2000’s

The Department of Health altered this approach and decided to no longer pay its CRC funding though the Mater Hospital.

However, the CRC staff from that time continued to hold their membership of the Voluntary Hospital’s Superannuation scheme as there was no alternative public sector pension scheme available to them.

This scheme has continued for those CRC staff members, currently numbering 181

The Mater Hospital have also requested that Paul Kiely correct “his earlier inaccurate reference”.

Originally posted at 8.10pm

‘Absolute madness’: CRC pays Mater Hospital €660k to administer ‘phantom pension fund’ >

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Nicky Ryan

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