Unions say pension changes to prompt flood of public sector retirements

Thousands of public sector workers are forecast to retire within the coming months as the Government plans to introduce changes to the pension scheme next February, union leaders have warned.

At the moment, retiring public sector workers are typically entitled to a pension worth 50% of their final salary plus an untaxed lump sum equal to 150% of their final salary, the Sunday Business Post reports this morning.

But over 8,500 public servants are set to avail of retirement ahead of changes to the regime coming into force in Febuary, unions have warned.

From next year, pensions will be calculated based on salaries after public sector pay cuts are taken into account. Currently, pensions are based on pre-cutback wage levels. Most public sector workers have had their wages cut significantly in recent months.

It is also expected the final lump sum will no longer be tax free.

Unions say the mass retirements expected in the coming months are likely to have a detrimental effect on many public services, such as hospitals, schools and Garda stations.

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