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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland McCarthy with former Taoiseach Brian Cowen in 2008. McCarthy served as Secretary General to three different taoisigh.
Civil Service

Top civil servant received over €700,000 on retirement

A former Government Secetary General received a €700k golden handshake on his retirement this summer. However, the Department of Finance has said that pension caps will be put in place by this year’s Budget so such payouts will be a thing of the past.

THE FORMER SECRETARY General to the Government Dermot McCarthy received a package of €713,000 when he retired earlier this year.

According to details obtained by RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act, McCarthy’s pension is €142,670 per year.

On top of this, he also received a “lump sum” of €428,011 and a “special severance payment” of €142,670.

The letter sent to RTÉ from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform outlined that the pension is based on a salary of just over €285,000 – his pay level prior to 2009 cuts and voluntary contributions.

An annual reduction of about €14,000 is applied to the pension fund under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2010.

The figures are also based on 40 years of service. McCarthy, who is 57, has been Secretary General to the Government since January 2000.

He also held the position of Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach from July 2001.

McCarthy served on various committees, including the commissions on public, outside and top level appointments.

In a statement issued this morning, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said the Government is committed to ending such exceptionally generous pension regimes for those at the top of the public sector.

However, it added that it was not possible to change existing arrangements.

“The Programme for Government commits to capping taxpayer subsidies for all future pension schemes at €60,000 per annum. These reforms are complex but are being advanced and will be ready by the Budget,” concluded a spokesman for the department.

For more information, see the RTÉ website>

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