Pensioners and the public service

Sir, – Once again the topic of public servants and “gold-plated pensions” has surfaced.

Some facts contradict the image of wealthy retired public servants.

The average yearly public service pension is approximately €20,000.

Retired public servants do not receive any social welfare pension but more recent entrants will have a combined public service/social welfare pension.


During the recession, pensions of retired public servants were cut and their entire pension was subject to the universal social charge (USC), whereas those on private sector pensions who also received a social welfare pension were not subject to USC on the social welfare element of their pension.

This means that somebody on a social welfare pension of €12,000 and another pension of €10,000 pays no USC, whereas a public servant on a pension of €22,000 pays substantial USC.

Social welfare increases benefit those with private sector pensions also, and further increases are signalled, whereas the pensions of retired public servants have not increased, and the topic of conversation now is how can their pensions be reduced!

In terms of fairness, public service pensioners should be given substantial refunds, particularly in relation to the USC. – Yours, etc,