Public Service Costs - The Elephant in the Room


Sorry, you are correct and also it appears as if the 40 year cap has been lifted (I’m not 100% familiar with strand 4 ) and the contributions are called “referable” amounts, I will amend my previous post.



I think it’s interesting that after five pages of discussion we still don’t know the precise cost of a public service pension.


It’s really just a consequence of variations arising from the stickyness of conditions of employment combined with non-actuaries attempting to run calculations with limited understanding and no actual data.

Maybe your point is that the State should have worked this out already and published it :slight_smile:



And it really shouldn’t be that complicated. You can ignore the post-2006 people since there are feck-all of them and they won’t be retiring for a while.


Not true. Between 15% and 20% of public service is post-2006 vintage.

It is complicated because there are a range of different conditions which depend on entry and unknowables such as retirement age and part-time working patterns. I am sure AIB and BoI’s legacy DB schemes are as tricky to understand too.

I fully agree that an attempt at the discounted cost of all PS pensions (with clear assumptions and sensitivity analysis) should be published at regular intervals.

To repeat, this is what all pensions (public and private) should be: viewtopic.php?p=909493#p909493


That seems incredible given the hiring freeze.


The hiring freeze only really kicked in from late 2008 on, and followed a few years of very big recruitment across most areas. It was only possible to enforce it certain parts of the PS: civil service, AGS, prison service, local authorities, etc.

Areas with more local hiring procedures like health and education were still able to recruit staff to some extent. People forget that health and education is nearly two-thirds of the public service.

Recruitment has been going pretty strong again since 2014 in areas where the hiring freeze did indeed apply.

#2031 … ervice.pdf


There wasn’t really a hiring freeze, people could be hired on temporary contracts, I got 6 of them between 2012 and 2016, civil service, HSE and third level sector. There was chance of permanency in the third level and the HSE job. Some of the temporary civil service contracts are up to 4 years.


This was obviously commissioned by the teacher’s unions and I haven’t examined it closely but I link it here in case it helps shed further light on the issues.

Regarding PS staff numbers a big factor in the early 00’s was various EU directives which virtually eliminated the cohort of part-time casual lecturing and other staff. These are now contracted with similar (pro-rata) T+Cs to the “permanent” staff. The processes to address these legacy cases are still ongoing to some extent and would have caused PS numbers to increase throughout the period.


Under FRS 17 many public sector bodies publish their Pension liability in the annual accounts, conducted by actuaries.

One good example is TII (formerly NRA) 2015 accounts, pg 34 … l%20Report

The only attempt I’ve seen at an overall State costs is by C&AG who had it at over 90bn a few years back


But on a temporary contract did they accrue pension benefits?


In 2012 it was 98 billion and an updated figure should be available this year according to the Minister. … aker%3A288

Here is a report:


#2037 … ility1.pdf


It is a very poor analysis.

The assumptions are cryptic and not referenced.

There is no sensitivity analysis.

There is no estimate of when the liability falls due.

I would expect a lot more given the sums of money and uncertainty involved.


Public Sector Pay Commision Report


Yes, and once you accumulate over two year’s service your contributions can be banked and a pro rate pension and lump sum is paid on retirement. XD


… edit way zombie!


Draft pay deal: State employees offered average pay rises of 6.6% by 2020 … -1.3111997

What ever about the pay aspect (which may actually be unaffordable depending on how Brexit plays out) the government seem to have done a lot of backing down around Saturday working and the outsourcing of services.


How does this make sense with inflation currently at circa 0%?