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The Bank of Israel's own annual report reveals even more shocking numbers than those released by the treasury's wages director: The central bank spent almost 46% more in 2009 on its employees and retirees than it did the year before. The report shows the bank spent NIS 804 million for employees, past and present, up from NIS 551 million in 2008.

The central bank claims that expenditures on active employees actually went down slightly last year, and most of the big increase went for funding pensions and severence and retirement payments, as a result of the new salary agreements signed last year.

The Bank of Israel says the two new wage agreements, one specific to the bank and the other covering the entire public sector, cost the bank about NIS 250 million in additional, retroactive benefits. The bank employed 601 people on December 31, 2009 - down from 712 a year earlier.

The bank has pension commitments valued at NIS 3.78 billion to 379 present employees, and another 666 of its retirees and their families. The average pension paid by the bank is NIS 27,500 a month.

As to the rest of its annual report, the central bank made a NIS 1.4 billion profit in 2009 and had total assets of NIS 252 billion, up from NIS 169 billion in 2008.