The voluntary redundancy scheme is expected to give rise to savings in three areas where it will be initially rolled out. These include the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and specific parts of the health and education sectors. The relevant Departments have estimated that there will be scope to effect approximately 2,000 exits from these areas over time, mainly from back-office, support areas and management and administrative grades. How this estimated number of exits translates into actual money savings over the next few years will be determined by several variables, including the take-up rate among staff in the targeted areas, their number and grade mix and the timing of departure. Information on outcomes in respect of these variables will not become apparent until the scheme is offered to those affected.
Public service trade unions are continuing to consider the various proposals put forward under the Haddington Road agreement ahead of the implementation date of 1 July. The composition of the savings arising can only be finalised when responses to the proposals from all the unions are to hand. However, the measures set out in the agreement, taking account of savings from pension adjustments, will enable the Government to achieve the targeted savings that I have set out of €300 million in the public service pay and pensions bill this year, including savings in local government. It is estimated that the measures set out in the Haddington Road agreement and the related legislation will reduce the public service pay bill by €1 billion by the end of the agreement.
Savings arising specifically from pension reductions are expected to begin from 1 July when changes to the existing public service pension reduction are due to take effect, as provided for in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013. These changes will apply to public service pensioners with pensions greater than €32,500 and are estimated to amount to €12.9 million this year and €24 million in 2014.