Cost of recruiting Civil Service admin officer costs €4m over career - report

Review says spend associated with new employees will become increasingly significant over time

The recruitment of a civil servant at administrative officer level will cost more than €4 million over the lifespan of their career, a new spending review has found.

The review, published by the Department of Public Expenditure on Friday, also said this included about €2.73 million in salary and about €340,000 in pension and lump sum costs.

For a clerical officer recruited to the Civil Service, the spending review forecast that the lifetime cost over their career would be €2.36 million. This would include €1.61 million in pay and about €170,000 in pension and lump sum costs.

For a mid-ranking executive officer or staff officer, the review projected that the lifetime cost would be just under €3 million.


The review found there were 42,525 active employees in the Civil Service as at December 31st 2020.

It said that between 2014 and 2020 there had been an average growth rate in the Civil Service workforce of approximately 3.36 per cent per year.

However it projected that between 2022 to 2031 is approximately 16,545 staff in the Civil Service will retire.

“The number of retirements is expected to vary over the period with numbers for the most part increasing each year up to 2027 before gradually falling thereafter”, it said.

The review suggested that between 2022 and 2031 between 3,000 and 3,500 additional personnel would be taken on.

“Significant costs may therefore be expected in respect of new entrants to the Civil Service over coming years.”

It forecast that one year costs (based on averages) of “between circa €228million and €255mill will be incurred in respect of new entrant employees over the next decade”.

“Accordingly, the cumulative costs associated with new entrant employees will become increasingly significant over time.”

“Management of the public service pay and pension bill is imperative to the continued delivery of value for money for the public. It is important that any methodology for workforce planning is underpinned by clear consideration of available fiscal resources, and productivity gains are achieved by harnessing technology and ensuring the necessary skills are in place to deliver high quality services.”

Separately a spending review into property operated abroad by the Department of Foreign Affairs maintained that expenditure, for both leased and owned properties, over the five years to 2020 amounted to €172 million.

“Total leased property expenditure associated with the mission network amounted to €131.5 million for the period. “

“Rent expenditure for chancery buildings increased by 15.73 per cent in 2020 compared to 2016, with an average annual increase of 3.81 per cent in the review period.”

“The increase in total rent expenditure for chancery properties is due to several factors including the opening of new missions, incremental changes in rent as agreed in lease terms, and currency related fluctuations.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent