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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's just peanuts to some

Open Europe published some figures over the weekend which found that EU Commissioners retiring this year can expect to walk away with pension pots worth over £1 million each.

According to EUobserver Commission spokesperson Valerie Rampi said that, "Open Europe didn't discover anything new, it's all public and online... Everyone who has worked as a commissioner is entitled to pension rights, like you and me". She then denied that Commissioners received "golden one-off payments".

Well, she is absolutely right about one thing. Commissioners' entitlements are available online, which was how we knew how much they would be receiving. In those entitlements, it states that Commissioners shall be entitled to "a resettlement allowance equal to one month's basic salary on ceasing to hold office."

Perhaps this doesn't seem like much of a "golden" pay-out to well-fed Commission bureaucrats, but it is more 19,900 euros for most Commissioners, and even more for the rest. This is more than some people earn in a year, but the Commission doesn't deem it "golden"?

We might also mention that this is just a fraction of what Commissioners will receive on leaving office - as well as their hefty pensions they will entitled to "transition" payments for three years of at least 90,000 euros a year.

But this probably isn't enough to count as "golden" either.

Next time the Commission wonders why citizens feel the EU institutions are out of touch, maybe this golden little penny will finally drop...

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