Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin says 'no role whatsoever' in how MLAs use their pensions

Former Sinn Féín leader Gerry Adams, who along with other retiring TDs is set to share in an estimated €22m in Oireachtas pension entitlements. Picture by Niall Carson/PA
Brendan Hughes

SINN Féin says it has "no role whatsoever" in what TDs, MLAs and MEPs do with their pension pots.

It comes after it was reported that former party leader Gerry Adams and other retiring TDs are set to share in an estimated €22 million (£18.5m) in Oireachtas pension entitlements.

Mr Adams, a Louth TD for nine years, is entitled to an estimated lump sum of around €63,000 (around £53,000) and an annual payment of €21,060 (around £17,700).

The cost of his pension in the private market would be an estimated €686,592 (approximately £578,000), the Irish Independent reported.

In the past Sinn Féin had maintained that all its elected representatives accepted an 'average industrial wage' with the rest donated to the party and constituency matters.

In 2018, the party said a review of its wage structures in 2016 led to a 'recommended party wage' which is "entirely voluntary".

However, it has previously been less clear what the party expected of its elected representatives in terms of their pension entitlements.

Asked about its policy, a Sinn Féin spokesman yesterday confirmed that retiring reps are not required to give back any of their pensions to the party.

"Pensions from political institutions are a matter for individuals and the party has no role whatsoever in what is paid to former TDs, MLAs and MEPs or what they do with their payments," he said.

The spokesman added: "Sinn Féin MPs do not receive a salary or pension from Westminster."

It suggests that on top of his TD pension, Mr Adams will also be collecting significant pension entitlements from his 12 years as an assembly member at Stormont.

The details of the Oireachtas pension payouts emerged as southern parties face criticism surrounding an increase in the Republic's state pension age from 65 to 68 – which will not impact TDs.

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