Bank of Ireland's chief executive received a once off top up to his pension of €1.5m last year.

This comes on top of an annual salary of €623,000 being paid to Richie Boucher.

The bank says there had been a shortfall in Mr Boucher's pension fund and it was obliged to top it up with the payment.

The shortfall arose because he assumed a new role as chief executive last year.

Mr Boucher has an option to retire at the age of 55 on a pension of €367,570 per annum.

The payment was made to the Bank Staff Pension Fund and disclosed in the company's annual report today.

The salary for the position of chief executive of Bank of Ireland was capped at €500,000 by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan last year.

However, Bank of Ireland has paid an additional €123,000 to Mr Boucher, which it describes as a pension cash allowance.

Irish Life & Permanent

It comes as Irish Life and Permanent is set to explore a possible offer for parts of the Bank of Ireland Group.

Earlier this morning, Bank of Ireland said it was planning to sell New Ireland Assurance and Bank of Ireland Asset Management.

Bank of Ireland must sell assets to win the support of the European Union for the State's financial support, including an injection of €3.5bn into the bank and permission to participate in NAMA.

This morning, Bank of Ireland officially signalled its intention to sell a number of non-core banking businesses including the mortgage company, ICS Building Society and New Ireland Assurance.

It has set itself a deadline of December 2014 to secure the sales.

Up to 1,000 Bank of Ireland employees are affected.

There is no guidance on how much might be generated from any sale of Bank of Ireland assets.

Within the next few months, it is expected to go to its shareholders to raise fresh capital to shore-up €2.7bn to bolster its financial strength.

The Unite trade union has reacted to this morning's announcement by saying it will work with any new owner to maintain the maximum number of sustainable jobs within the troubled financial sector.

Unite represents 750 of the 1,000 workers at Bank of Ireland Life, New Ireland Assurance and the ICS Building Society.

As previously announced last year, Bank of Ireland said it is also winding down its UK intermediary broker business.

The bank says it expects the decision regarding the approval of the proposed measures by the middle of the year.