IFA members 'shocked' at former general-secretary's pension top-up

The IFA executive survived a motion of no confidence last night

IFA members 'shocked' at former general-secretary's pension top-up

IFA Deputy President Tim O'Leary speaking with Economist Con Lucey, at the IFA Executive Council Meeting at the farm Centre in Dublin. Picture: RollingNews.ie/Finbarr O'Rourke

A member of the IFA National Executive says they were shocked to find out that former General-Secretary Pat Smith received a €1.2m pension top-up.

The money was given to Smith when the association's defined benefit scheme closed in 2011.

The figure represents 25% of the fund set up to compensate members for shortfalls.

It was critical of the fact that former presidents are invited onto the board of FBD Holdings and are paid around €40,000 a year for this.

It recommends that payments to IFA presidents for their role on outside bodies should in future be paid into association funds.

The National Executive survived a vote of no confidence last night after a report on pay and structures was presented to members yesterday.

It followed the release of the report into pay and structures by Con Lucey, the former chief economist with the IFA.

One of the members, Sean Brosnan, says everyone was taken aback by the pension top-up.

"I think that was probably as big a shock to the rest of the staff as it was to ourselves" he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"There was a kind of an explanation given there as regards the age of the person of involved and the time they...were with the organisation".

"A shocking figure" he added.

The acting president has now stood down to pursue election to the post.

Irish Farmers Journal's Pat O'Toole says for the second time in a month the IFA has a new leader at the helm - Jer Bergin.

"Well firstly we had a series of motions of confidence, having considered the Con Lucey report - they were all defeated. That left the Board in situ. Acting president Tim O'Leary, treasurer Ger Bergin, and the regional vice president".

"Following that, Tim O'Leary announced he was stepping down to pursue the presidency. The Council then selected Jer Bergin, who is currently treasurer to act as interim president".