Bonus payments to bankers and financial services staff have plummeted by almost 70% since the near-collapse of the country's main banks 12 month ago, according to pay figures released by the CSO.
The average bonus payment to staff in the financial sector fell from €230 a week in June 2008 to €71 a week in June 2009 – a drop of 69%.
But despite widespread pressure, basic pay for the same staff rose, albeit marginally, from €1,055 a week to €1,061 a week, slightly cushioning the loss in bonuses.
This leaves the average weekly income for bank staff, including the reduced bonus, at €1,131 a week – a 12% drop from the €1,285 they enjoyed before the recession took hold.
Larry Broderick of the Irish Bank Officials Association said his members have had to cope with the non-payment or deferral of basic pay awards, performance awards and other incentive payments which they have come to depend on to top up their modest basic rates.
"IBOA is in discussion with employers to ensure all contractual obligations towards our members are honoured, not least because our members are not responsible for the current difficulties in the banking sector," said Broderick.
At the other end of the wage spectrum, top bankers have all had their bonuses cut this year, in most cases to zero.
AIB chief executive Eugene Sheehy, who stepped down last year in the wake of the banking crisis, had to forgo his bonus, which came to €850,000 in 2008.
Bank of Ireland's Brian Goggin received a bonus of €1m in 2007/2008 but this was reduced to zero last year before he too quit the bank last summer. Bank of Ireland announced last year that none of its executives would receive any bonuses in 2009 or in 2010.
David Drumm, former head of the now state-owned Anglo Irish Bank, received a bonus of almost €2 m in 2007. But all of the bank's directors and senior staff have had their performance bonuses – worth €18m in total in 2008 – cut since the state took over the ailing bank.