Forfas pension scheme has €1.2bn net deficit

Wednesday 24 July 2013 21.15
Forfas pension scheme has net deficit of almost €1.2bn
Forfas pension scheme has net deficit of almost €1.2bn

The pension scheme at State enterprise body Forfas has a net deficit of almost €1.2 billion, according to its 2012 annual report published today.

Forfas administers the pensions of a number of agencies including Forfas, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the predecessors of those agencies.

The deficit at the end of last year was €1,187,674,000 - up 22% from just over €972 million in 2011.

The report also states that 78% of last year's €51.4m Oireachtas grant to Forfas went to pay pensions - with just 22% spent on policy activities, corporate and shared services.

However, in a note to the accounts, Forfas says that it has no evidence that its funding policy will not continue to meet pension obligations in accordance with current practice.

The cost of payments to pensioners rose from by over 23% from €35.3m in 2011 to just under €43.5m last year.

This was partly due to the surge of retirements under the Government strategy to cut public service jobs.

According to the report, Forfas has shed 35% of its workforce since the public service moratorium on recruitment was introduced.

The report states that the reduction in resources has put continuing strain on the organisation's ability to deliver on its wide mandate, which includes both policy advice and operational services.

The Comptroller and Auditor General also draws attention to what he calls "non-effective expenditure" of €1.4m relating to rents for unoccupied office space.

The cost of vacant space at Carrisbrook House - which is almost 85% vacant - was over €1.2m.

Rent for vacant space in Knockmaun House - where almost 12% of the building is vacant - cost €191,000.

Keywords: forfas, pension