Further expected increases in funding HSE pension schemes could threaten some health services for patientsPHIL FISK/GETTY IMAGES

Spending on frontline health services is being put at risk by ballooning pension costs, a new government report has revealed.

The advisory paper, prepared by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, shows that the HSE’s budget is being hit by escalating pension costs combined with lower contributions from employees because of the government’s public sector pay cuts.

The authors have raised concerns that further expected increases in funding HSE pension schemes over the coming years could threaten some health services for patients. The study shows that the bill for paying pensions to retired HSE staff has been increasing at an average of €45 million a year since 2013.

The report said taxpayers would have to bear the burden of an even greater proportion of…