Head of Transport Administration Kaido Padar highest-paid state official

Kaido Padar.
Kaido Padar. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Director General of the Transport Administration Kaido Padar was the highest-paid official last year if we include bonuses but also received the biggest basic wage. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas came in third.

Preliminary statistics puts the average gross salary of state officials at €1,967 in 2021 for an annual increase of 2.5 percent. The average gross salary of government officials was €1,996 (up 2.5 percent) and that of local government officials €1,805 (up 3 percent). The national average salary grew by 6.9 percent last year, with wages of officials growing slower.

Transport Administration head Kaido Padar made €101,250 last year, with bonuses and performance pay. He was followed by Director of the State Information System's Authority (RIA) Margus Noormaa (€83,007) and Chief Justice of Tallinn Circuit Court Villem Lapimaa (€82,217).

Padar also had the biggest basic monthly salary of €7,500, followed by Lapimaa (€7,384) and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (€7,303).

The wages are given as of April 1.

While Kaido Padar also had the highest basic wage in 2020, State Secretary Taimar Peterkop made the most money at €82,678.

While the salary of higher state public servants is determined by a corresponding act (KRAPS), with the index that governs it published in March, the law does not apply to heads of state agencies. Higher state public servants include government ministers, MPs, judges, the justice chancellor and the state secretary.

The salaries of the president and MPs are not included in officials' salary statistics. President Alar Karis and President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas make €7,303 a month from April 1, while MPs make €4,746.

Viimsi Municipality mayor third among local government heads

Of local government officials, Tallin City Chancellor Kairi Vaher made the most, with bonuses and performance pay included, in 2021 at €83,378. Second to Vaher was Tallinn City Secretary Priit Lello (€83,005) and Tarty City Secretary Jüri Mölder (€81, 565).

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart made €73,200 and Ain Valdmann, head of the Tallinn Environmental and Utilities Department, €67,918.

Basic salary was highest for Kõlvart (€7,222), Vaher and Lello (both €6,550).

Next came Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas (€6,207) and Viimsi Municipality Mayor Illar Lemetti (€5,112). Saue Municipality Mayor Andres Laisk made €5,040 a month, followed by Pärnu Mayor Romek Kosenkranius and Saku Municipality Mayor Marti Rehemaa (€5,000).

Narva Mayor Katri Raik made €4,000 a month.

The Ministry of Finance noted in its overview that the average salary of public servants is higher than the national average, and that one reason for that is the relative importance of workers with higher education. "While 43 percent of employees have higher education in Estonia, that figure is 67 percent for state servants."

National agencies employed 16,811 officials in 2021. More than half are special servants, such as police, rescue and corrections officials and Estonian Defense Forces members.

Local government agencies employed 3,030 officials last year.

State and local government officials numbered 19,841 in all and made up 15 percent of public sector workforce.

Officials' salary statistics do not reflect the salaries of higher state servants, such as the president and MPs and those of municipality councils. For example, the salary of Tallinn city council head Jevgeni Ossinovski matches that of Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart.

Heads of listed companies make more than top officials

Listed companies had to disclose the salaries of their top executives for the first time this year. Tallink board member Lembit Kitter made a little over €1 million after leaving the shipper last year.

Kitter was followed by Pro Kapital board members Edoardo Preatoni and Angelika Annus who split €1.7 million.

Member of the board of LHV Group Madis Toomsalu came in third with €383,836.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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