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How should pensions be revised?

04:46 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011

Millions of workers in the public sector should work longer for lower pensions, a major report has said. How concerned are you about your pension?

Lord Hutton's independent review said public sector pensions should no longer be related to final salaries. Instead, by 2015 pensions should be related to average salaries over a career.

Unions have already warned of large-scale strike action over the review, carried out by the Labour peer Lord Hutton.

Should final salary pension schemes be withdrawn? Should taxpayers be asked to pay more? How can the country pay for the rise in longevity? Where should the extra money come from?

Q&A: Public sector pensions review

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 20

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This makes me feel physically sick.

  • Comment number 3.

    I have a great idea let's turn the clock back and go back to the old MUTUAL societies as they were before the large pension funds & corporates took them over and made them limited companies!!!
    It was only greed, bonuses, and need for shareholders profits that caused the current finanical problems and conveniently the worlds financiers are getting away with it again by trying [very sucessfully I might add] to side step and responsibility and make the rest of the population pay the price!!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes, and we should start with the pensions of all the Members of Parliament and senior civil servants. They should pay more into their pension plan, have no final salary option and the British taxpayer shouldn't have to support them with expenses. After all, everyone else in the real world don't get an MP's perks. The choose the job, they don't have to do it. No pain, no gain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes make people work harder, pay more, even if you're old. That takes care of the bankers who retire at fifty on obcene pensions, but what about the us poor peasants who only have a pitance for an income?

  • Comment number 6.

    The old mutuals all worked well and generated good solid returns.
    It is time for the [bankrupt] government to stop sucking up to the financial institutions and have some back bone. They will not leave the country its all smoke and mirros but then I guess when you have to borrow money then the loan provider calls the tunes!!!
    Time to get sorted out Mr Cameron, call in the professional managers not the political hacks!!!
    You will get re-elected IF you actually stood up and lead the country rather than knee jerk reaction to every situation.
    Have some balls!!!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Seems to me that one of the biggest problems for the pension industry has been Brown's attack on Private Pensions in 1997. The move removed atleast 20% from thwe value of these pensions.

    As to the public sector pensions the non contriburary nature was put in place because public sector workers in the past earned less than people in private industry. The Uniions saw fit to change that and now the Public sector is better paid than the Private sector so a change is needed, especially to the pensions of the top civil servants who 'earn' more than people in similar positiions in private industey and are almost impossible to sack.

  • Comment number 8.

    It boils down to social justice.

    Why should the public sector have much more generous pensions than people in the private sector?

    Many people in the private sector will not have the opportunity to retire on a comfortable pension and, instead, will have to work until they drop.



  • Comment number 9.

    Once you have worked all your life, been squeezed by Income Tax, NI, VAT, Community Charges and rising costs, even when you manage to save something, at retirement you ae no longer of any use to the Government.

    You were once a fruit, ripe and juicy and now that you are past your sell by date, well it is the bin for you.

    I watched my mother work for 25 years for the council as a carer, my old man 40 years as a miner, both got small private pensions and for the last 10 years have had nothing but the bare minimum from the government yet they did what was asked of them all their life. I comment bitterly about their neighbours who never worked, get the same pension and all rents paid etc and in fact are better off for not working.

    I now worry about myself as I had to cask in an old serps pension that had been sitting for years to pay a tax bill that had been fumbled by HMRC, I also cleared mortgage payments that had built up because of 7 months of unemployment.

    What will happen to all of us at 65/67/70? The government will get bigger and more expensive and we will become less.

  • Comment number 10.

    (Reuters) - Almost two-thirds of people living in Britain today are likely to see a 60 percent drop in their income when they retire over the next 40 years and a plummeting quality of life, a report said Thursday.

    Add that to the rising costs and taxation at all levels and it looks like we are in for a very bad time.


  • Comment number 11.

    comment eight: [and everyone else]. Right back at you. As the story [if you'd care to read it first] the average public sector pension is £7800 a year. I'm sorry that the private sector is in a mess pension wise but why can't they sort themselves out? Why should the public sector have to take a hit because of it?

  • Comment number 12.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 13.

    Given the Government's policy of dealing with the National Debt - then the question is absurd.

    Given that we waste £ millions Daily on - Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, The E.E.C , FForeign Aid, Allowing obscene bonus/salary structures to continue ,
    Allowing this shambles of a coalition to continue in power without a " Business Plan " - Allowing unemployment to continue it's remorseless rise etc.etc.etc - then the answer is blindingly obvious - Put our finance and efforts to better use and stop clowning about for Goodness Sake !!!

    There is so much inuendo - unfairness - unlevel playing fields syndrome about between The Government and the Electorate then if this cannot be seen and recognized then we must look elsewhere - Certainly not to the USA, they haven't learnt the lessons either !!

  • Comment number 14.

    When will people learn its NOT the pensions of the people retiring in 30-40 years time that we have the problem is. IT IS THE ONES WHO ARE RETIRED NOW!!!! Its absurd that we have to support the 'grey vote' otherwise the baby boomers from the 40s for the next 30 years.
    The goverment need to get tough on them

  • Comment number 15.

    As I work in the public sector I would like to confirm that we do not earn on average double as mentioned on the BBC news program this morning than in the private sector if anything it is the other way round. And as to paying more into our pension's we already pay 6.5% which is a lot more than most and we have to work 40 years to get a full pension.

    It always amazes is me when the people who come up with these ideas how it never effects their pocket.

  • Comment number 16.

    After watching the BBC News this morning with thier pensions "expert" it's about time the truth was told, perhaps the pensions "expert" they had would like to see my pay slip and tell me where my huge pay rises over the last few years are. I dont have a gold plated pension at all . it's not much more than an average state pension and yes I DO have to pay into it contrary to what the press will have you believe. At Management level I am earning LESS than the average national wage, yes you read that right, so try targeting the high paid Seniior Managers and leave me to try and give my familly a decent living by working hard as I do, and for those who complain Civil Service jobs are open to evryone, Try applying for one fi your that fed up about it but dont expect a gold plated pension because in reallity they dont and never have existed.

  • Comment number 17.

    Pensins and everything costs money, and where does the money come from? Taxation and stocks and shares. If you live longer then you need more money, if you strip the banks of their top workers, not that I agree with the vast nouns they get but that's another story, then they may make less meaning you need more tax. You don't just magic money out of thin air.
    So as the private sector has just gone through a lot of these end of final salary pension and moving to average salary, why should the public sector be different? After all the private sector contribute tax, which goes towards the public pension? Oddly I don't see any public salary going towards my private pension.

    Fairs fair...we had it good for a long time, enjoy living longer so we need to save more.

  • Comment number 18.

    As already stated. Public sector pensions are far from gold plated, apart from the fortunate few, which the media concentrates on. However, I do believe all final salary pensions should be replaced by average career earnings. Many senior public servants enjoys multiple promotions in their later career, hugely increasing their pension at the expense or Mr Average. If you work 30 years with average salary of £25K and get 3 promotions in 10 years bringing salary up to £60K, then the pension is paid as if that person had earned £60K all their 40 years. That can't be right, and most would be better of if the system changed.

  • Comment number 19.

    Comment 11, I find it very hard to believe that the average public sector pension is £7800 per year. There are a number of reasons for this, it has become normal for public bodies to lie, in fact its almost a requirement, they couldn't tell it like it is if you paid them a lump sum, well maybe they would, but it would have to be a huge lump sum.

    And secondly I know a newly retired policeman, he's done his thiry years retired as a PC, and his lump sum and pension are very impressive indeed.

    Thirdly I can't for a minute accept that someone working for a public bodies, those fine institutions whose main interest is to scam as much money of the taxpayer at the same time as making life difficult for everybody would stand for a measly pension of £7800 per year when they have been used to so much more. No, its about time the public sector joined the real world and actually gave value for money to those they serve before they start valueing themselves, trust me, if these people had to survive in the private sector they wouldn't stand a chance.

  • Comment number 20.

    For a start they the public sector should retire at 65 like the rest of us.

    It was a miss-conception that if you worked in the public sector you got paid less that the private sector for comparable jobs, after the recent audit it was found it the priavte sector paid more if it the pay was over 60K.

  • Comment number 21.

    8. At 06:22am on 10 Mar 2011, STILL_BROWNED_OFF wrote:
    It boils down to social justice.

    Why should the public sector have much more generous pensions than people in the private sector?

    Many people in the private sector will not have the opportunity to retire on a comfortable pension and, instead, will have to work until they drop.
    --------------------------------------
    Or to put it another way...

    Why should the private sector have worse pensions than people in the public sector?

    People in the private sector should be demanding parity, not worse pensions for all.

    The pensions in the public sector pension are not really that good anyway. Not nearly as good as for some in the private banking sector!

  • Comment number 22.

    19. At 07:03am on 10 Mar 2011, solomondogs wrote:
    Comment 11, I find it very hard to believe that the average public sector pension is £7800 per year. There are a number of reasons for this, it has become normal for public bodies to lie, in fact its almost a requirement, they couldn't tell it like it is if you paid them a lump sum, well maybe they would, but it would have to be a huge lump sum.

    And secondly I know a newly retired policeman, he's done his thiry years retired as a PC, and his lump sum and pension are very impressive indeed.

    Thirdly I can't for a minute accept that someone working for a public bodies, those fine institutions whose main interest is to scam as much money of the taxpayer at the same time as making life difficult for everybody would stand for a measly pension of £7800 per year when they have been used to so much more. No, its about time the public sector joined the real world and actually gave value for money to those they serve before they start valueing themselves, trust me, if these people had to survive in the private sector they wouldn't stand a chance.
    --------------------------------------
    Bonkers.

  • Comment number 23.

    Earlier you mentioned firemen, police, nurses etc as public sector workers - yes they may have a better wage but what about the cleaners, school dinner ladies, secretaries who do not get as much as the private sector. We are dependent on our pension to survive when we reach retirement age. Should we be punished for being responsible citizens?

  • Comment number 24.

    Average public sector wage is higher than the average private sector wage, yet the taxpayer is asked to subsidise public sector final salary pension schemes, and the population is getting older.

    Of course things must change. It is not sustainable.

  • Comment number 25.

    Pensions should be left alone just because the private sector rip of its employees there is no need to do the same to the rest of us.
    Remember Corus. When Corus took over British Steel and reduced the workforce so much that the pensions could not be paid to the people already on a pension so people who had worked all their lives and been retired for some time lost their hard earned and rightful pension.
    Don't tell me that the private sector is better than the public sector it is run by greedy men who pay the Tories to keep it that way.
    Britain PLC must make its money from other countries not rip of its own people

  • Comment number 26.

    I have had a Public Sector pension for the past 4 years, earned from 28 years service in the Armed Forces. I had no idea about pensions when I joined up as a young lad (like most young kids). You didn't look that far ahead.
    I'm so glad I have it now, and that it was non-contributory (in the 70s, 80s & early 90s our pay was poor in comparison to Private Sector workers). My military pension covers all of our monthly bills, mortgage, food shopping, fuel for the car, holidays and leaves some over to save. And I'm not yet 50!
    I have refrained from joining my Private Sector Company Pension Scheme, as it is going down the toilet. My wife, who works for a University, is considering leaving her Pension Scheme as the returns are diminishing and she would just rather save the money (interest rates will rise soon).
    The end is nigh for decent retirement pension provision. We just cannot afford it any more. No amount of strikes will change that fact. The glory days are over. I retired from active service just in time!
    Idea - perhaps if we stopped Foreign Aid these measures would not be required?

  • Comment number 27.

    To add to my previous post, try reading the interim Pension report where it clearly states that the Civil Service pension only compares to an "average" pension you would get in main stream private sector, that doesnt get reported does it

  • Comment number 28.

    If people ate,drank and smoked to excess, the tax revenue would be enormous and everyone would die a lot younger due to ill health and there would be little need for pensions. However we are encouraged to be healthy and live longer thus placing a massive strain on public funded pensions. I for one will eat and drink to excess thus doing my bit to reduce the pension deficit and I'll probably have a good time doing it:-)

  • Comment number 29.

    It may come as a surprise to people in the private sector that employee's in the public sector pay tax which contributes to private sector pensions and if I were to take a job in the private sector going the same roll I would be paid double. The reason I stay where I am is the people I work with. It would be interesting to know how much the private sector pay into their pensions?

  • Comment number 30.

    comment 8 and others. As someone who came into teaching in my 30s having worked in the private sector I can tell you my small private sector pension is being calculated at a better rate than my 1/85 per yr teachers pension. My husband's private co.pension is based on 1/60! Do NOT confuse public pensions of the FEW top earners with the vast majority of others who will get far, far less!
    And yes, comment 11, I WILL get less than £7800pa.

  • Comment number 31.

    We simply cannot afford to keep propping up Public Sector Pensions. The cost is colossal and over-shadows even the bill for Welfare. When Private Sector Pension Funds stop making money then it's tough for its members but the Public Sector seem to think it's their God given right to expect the UK Taxpayer to pick up the bill for their fund's poor performance, year in year out!
    Furthermore there is real ill feeling now in the Private Sector that they are being asked to work even longer (66) while the Public Sector continue to retire aged 60.
    Early Retirement in the Public Sector due to ill health has been an absolute scandal now for years and considering the Government's treatment of those private individuals claiming Incapacity Benefit it's little wonder at people's outrage.
    I'm sorry but I'm afraid things MUST change there simply is not the funds for them to continue as they are.

  • Comment number 32.

    There are three principals for a modern pension’s policy.
    1. Both public and private employees should be on the same scheme.
    2. Contributions to an individual pension pot should be compulsory – via income tax.
    3. Payouts should be based on the pension pot accrued.
    The vast majority of the public don’t trust the financial industry – with good reason – so state protection is a necessity. Contributions should be paid to a British Pensions Trust (not the Government) for the Trust to invest in a large range of financial institutions. Annually the mean average percentage of all investments should be added to each individual’s pension pot. Financial institutions which do well can expect a larger share of investments in the future, and vice versa.
    The Government will have to supply minimum contributions for those not employed and guarantee the pension pots. Private pensions outside the scheme should not receive any tax concession.

  • Comment number 33.

    You go to a restaurant, pay for a three course meal. After the second course you are told the third course is not going to be served and with no refund given.

    The same goes for public sector workers often having accepted lower pay in the knowledge that at least there was the reward of a half-decent pension.

    People will be angry and quite rightly so.

  • Comment number 34.

    One thing is for certain the pensions given to MP's will not change.
    While pensions to others will be hit.

  • Comment number 35.

    Pensions, in general, are a con. Those in work cough up National Insurance all of their working lives, purportedly to ensure a dignified retirement. These funds are raided, mispent or poorly invested as a matter of course by successive governments. People should be free to choose where their contributions are invested, although this will never happen since it is a huge pot of money. The system is being geared towards everyone working as a contractor, responsible for their own job security, pay and conditions, and ultimately pensions, although no politician would ever admit that.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes good....private sector workers have had a raw deal for years. I dont have a pension and I'm not going to bother given the past record. I'd rather die on my feet, than have my money go anywhere near a bank or pension fund. Totally untrustworthy on both accounts.

    Mass emmigration anyone? Leave Cammeron to his poverty Isle that he is creating.
    You want to save money Mr Cammeron reduce the CSA to dust. One of the biggest quango's ever created, but still he chooses to do nothing. Week insipid man only ever goes for the easy targets.


  • Comment number 37.

    Does Lord Huttons review include all civil servants working in government and all MP's pensions together with Judges who's contribution is low

  • Comment number 38.

    So people sector workers are too well off with their final salary pensions?

    Wrong. Many public sector workers receive a lower level of pay on the basis that at least the balance will be redressed, in part by a final salary pension.

    This is not about a few Judges on high salaries but the hundreds of thousands of low-pay hard-working front line staff such as nurses and now form an easy target for highly-paid politicians.

  • Comment number 39.

    7. At 06:15am on 10 Mar 2011, SnoddersB wrote:

    Recommend this post.

    Certainly pensions should have had far more protection all round, from government and from private companies. I can't remember which car company lost all of its employees' pensions.

    Although some pension schemes have worked, they were no different to investing on the stock market. If an organisation decided to change the pension provider a whole year's contributions could be lost.

    Final salary pension schemes were totally unrealistic in that when they were originally set up salaries did not increase that fast. Now that many people's salaries are frozen, once people retire, they will effecively stay on the same money as those working. That money might be paid out for 30 years. Had far lower but realistic pensions been offered, that might have been the way around it. As it is now, it's too late.

    If anyone can still afford it, I think your money is safer under the mattress.

    As for public sector pensions - I am out of work, on basic JSA, but have savings, so I still pay full-rate council tax. If I have no work in a few months' time I will receive no assistance at all. But I still pay full-rate council tax, one-third of which pays for public sector pensions, whilst my savings go down and I can make no further provision for myself. I consider that to be unfair.

  • Comment number 40.

    This government (and the last) just don't get it! Leadership towards where the troubles are is overdue. It's the lack of mobility of money. It's stuck in banks. It's stuck in foreign owned companies on these shores. It's stuck in the bank accounts of people who don't spread it back into society.

    Yes - look at pensions - there is some bonkers payouts. Yes - look at entitlement to retire. Much later.

    But inequalities across pensions paid by working people is as nothing against the inequalities between the rich and poor in this country. And for which the poor are being drained on a daily basis.

    On a final note, the unions have had their day. The government is getting ready for a full-on Thatcher type confrontation. It assumes this generation will fight this way. It won't.

    The battlefront will be in the dole queues, failing public and health services and a politically disaffected public which is opening the country up to extreme politics. If I was rich, I wouldn't want to be around much longer, so why is the government supporting this tiny fraction of society?

  • Comment number 41.

    I am really distressed about this. I am 50 and have been paying in to the pension since I started teaching in 1997 (at age 37). The fact that I had a reasonable pension - despite starting teaching so late was taken into account in my divorce settlement. I do not think for one minute I will be able to go back and re- negotiate my settlement - despite the fact that my ex husband has a really good pension. If this is done retrospectively - I will strike - even if I do it on my own!

  • Comment number 42.

    How should pensions be revised?
    Nurses, teachers and other public sector workers will hear details later this morning about the changes in store for their pensions. How concerned are you about your pension?

    The Pensions fiasco originally started under Thatcher (as did most of the greed that is now recking this country) The Mutual Pension companies did extremely well for providing a good pension pot for the ordinary working family, it was scaled farely, and returns upon reaching retirement in the form of a pension was good.
    There were no Huge salaries and bonuses for those at the top (I think I'll give myself a £2 3/4m bonus this year, put in my off-shore tax free haven, just take it out of the pension investments for the peasants, I'm doing nothing wrong!) There were many different companies doing these mutual savings and pensions, some better than others - but all put the pensions and saver first.

    I, like I am sure many hundreds of thousands, if not millions in this now greed ridden country, thought I was doing the right thing by taking out a private pension in the early '80's, I am now retired but have calculated that to benefit from what I had paid in I would have to live until I was 106 - which is extremely unlikely.
    Pension arrangement fees, managing fees, investment fees, I'll go to the Bahama's for six months fees, OK the last one may not be correct, notice I said 'may not be' but all these extra fees, Why? The guaranteed returns on the investments of my 'managed private pension fund' never materialised, always an excuse that was unchallengable. Was I mis-sold a pension, I was told not by an independants accountant, but I am no longer so sure that was the case - I would have had a better return if I had just paid it into a building society - but that no longer holds water either now does it? as 90% of them were taken over by the greedy banks.

    It is quite clear to me now that the banks who run most of these 'pension funds' now, like the investment banks and all the privatised utility companies are all onto a really good thing - from their point of view - they really are robbing the poor to pay the rich - Railtrack and Network Rail - £2.35m bonuses for all the executives last year - paid whether there are fatal crashes or not, they have no responsibility whatsoever - just like the banks and the private pension companies through the banks - lining their pockets.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    1. At 05:24am on 10 Mar 2011, ddandyy wrote:

    we need a revolution,and we need it now.

    A. I am inclined more and more to agree on this one Ddandyy

    ----------------------------------------------------------
    3. At 06:02am on 10 Mar 2011, David wrote:

    I have a great idea let's turn the clock back and go back to the old MUTUAL societies as they were before the large pension funds & corporates took them over and made them limited companies!!!
    It was only greed, bonuses, and need for shareholders profits that caused the current finanical problems and conveniently the worlds financiers are getting away with it again by trying [very sucessfully I might add] to side step and responsibility and make the rest of the population pay the price!!!!

    A. I have to agree David, you are absolutaly correct.

    ====================================================
    But what to do now?

    The rot has already well and truly set in with private pension companies, so trying to reverse the clock back to the old Mutual Societies may not work, the era of Greed is far too well and truly dug in, but I have to agree it could be worth a long hard look at to return to this system of pension funding for the future.

    But to do this you would be up against the top elite money men in the greedy banking system who will probably do everything in their powers, legally and otherwise, to prevent it.

    Perhaps the solution is to totally reverse the current trend.
    Instead of the Banks robbing us, perhaps We should rob the banks as part of a revolution, that this country really does need right now.

    In fact I really do think we would all be better off if the chiefs of the military staff carried out a Military coups d'état, threw out this excuse for a governemnt and imposed a military government in the UK before Cameron and Klegg - the dizzy duo - totally destroy this countries defenses and infrastructure - its been done before (albeit for a slightly different reason, but the end game would be the same, the restoration of the countries infrastructure and economy) - Oliver Cromwell over King Charles 1st - it is now time for a repeat of history - maybe no public beheading this time. Notice I said 'maybe'.
    Then start again once all the captains of Greed and Corruption have been cleared out and dealt with that have taken absolutaly no responsibility for their actions which in many cases lead to the deaths and serious injuries of members of the general public, the forclosure of many small business that weren't even in the red, the repossesion of many homes whilst making a fortune out of asset stripping and selling repossessed companies and homes and at the same time making a fortune out of pension funds.

  • Comment number 43.

    It's funny but given the state of the country and the way it has been for years,the pensions which most people want to see cut most is that of our MPs.

    The management of this country has been a shambles.Even the so-called new pension proposals by Iain Duncan-Smith will leave us with an unfair, multi-level pension scheme which sees pensioners on different levels of pension.

    We could get ridiculous situations where somebody with 40 years of pension contributions on the old system could end up getting less basic pension than somebody with 30 years on the new system.

    The fact that we are in this mess is because politicians did not set aside money to deal with it. Instead we have the government equivalent of living off your credit card.

    One report says that the average person needs £14400 to live, The government is proposing to give people the first £10000 tax free eventually yet under these arrangement many people will probably be forced to live on a lot less.

    To cap it all there will be people who have never worked a day in their life who will qualify for a pension free of charge.

    This government by the rich, of the rich and for the rich is making the poor pay for a pension system that sees the rich well off at the expense of others.Despite all the talk about being in this together in the national lifeboat it is pretty clear that the rich steer while the poor row.

    Why are we not seeing lots of tax-evading rich people being jailed? Why do errant MPs who have lead a life of privelege only get 2 years in prison when caught out for fraud? Why are all the tax loopholes not being closed? And why are the government so useless at tackling bank bonuses? Is it a case of the rich looking after the rich? I think so.

    The government must be blind not to see that the injustices in the Middle East and in some European countries have pushed people to the limit with the resultant massive civil unrest.How long will it be before further attacks on the poor lead to riots on the streets here in the UK? With pension measures like this it may be closer than we think.

  • Comment number 44.

    All public sector workers should be given a personal private plan in to which they can contribute themselves and look after,the government then contributes 5% of their gross salary

  • Comment number 45.

    It is a bit rich (no pun intended)that a study headed by a politician; people who are free to vote on their own terms and conditions of employment - how can that be objective, or fair - whilst soliciting lucrative consultancy roles with grateful, multi-national companies, recommends that, 'staff should work longer and take home less in retirement.' If raising pensions were as simple as raising the bar for hypocrisy, we'd all own ocean-going yachts.

    If that doesn't make you mad, then nothing will.

  • Comment number 46.

    Can I just point out that the latest Civil Service Pension Scheme is not final salary and pays out at 65 and yes I contribute.

    Also re salaries - I still earn less in the Public Sector the I was getting paid in the private sector 4 years ago.

  • Comment number 47.

    All these decisions are made by MP's, whether it's getting less in your pension, increases in fuel prices, public sector pay freeze's it's funny how it never has an effect on what they can still claim for at no extra cost to them.

  • Comment number 48.

    33. At 07:34am on 10 Mar 2011, Gabriel Oaks wrote:
    You go to a restaurant, pay for a three course meal. After the second course you are told the third course is not going to be served and with no refund given.

    The same goes for public sector workers often having accepted lower pay in the knowledge that at least there was the reward of a half-decent pension.


    =============================================

    It depends upon the type of scheme set up as to whether anyone in the private sector would have been in any better a position. A pension in many cases could not be calculated until the day before retirement, so if the markets were doing badly, well, you just got a pretty raw deal, despite the amount contributed.

    The guaranteed higher rate pensions were not realistic, particularly now that we have a high percentage of people of pensionable age, with a reduced number of people of working age contributing.

  • Comment number 49.

    As a Police officer with 21 yrs service i started on an annual salary of £14k much lower than the private sector job i left. I was promised a pension on completing 30 yrs service. A pension which costs me a quarter of my monthly take home pay now the Govt is seeking to breach this contract. It is ridiculous to say private sector pensions are not as good as public sector pensions as who in the private sector not only pays a quarter of their take home pay every month on a pension AND pays tax to the Govt which also goes towards my pension. Private sector workers choose not to pay so much into a pension scheme I did not get the choice. Public sector work pay has now caught up with the private sector but only in the last few years!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Sadly this is the price for politicians and the public basically ignoring the subject for the last 30 odd years after it became apparent that increasing lifespan was going to stress public finances and private schemes.

    This country pursued an unsustainable approach to funding old age provision, despite decades of warnings that there was a fundamental problem coming with the way public sector pensions are funded (i.e. most are not funded). Ill advised tampering by Gordon Brown and greed by many companies taking extensive pension holidays to artificially boost profits to please the city have also damaged private provision.

    Most public sector pension funds are not invested and never have been, i.e. the money todays public sector workers pay into a pension are simply used to pay the pensions of todays pensioners. Same for the national pension, it is a largest component of benefit payments, it dwarfs all other spending as is the only significant spending area not to be cut (nearly 100 billion p.a.).
    Before the "I paid for this" arguments are made by those pensioners, the simple fact is no,you didn't. You paid for the pensions of your grandparents and parents, not one penny of that national insurance was invested for your pension.
    Now because the birth rate declined and economic competitiveness was lost by the coming generation of pensioners the next generations of taxpayers are fewer in number, saddled with high living costs and can never afford to pay to the same generous level as previously. Whist it always gets stuck in emotional human terms, who can't sympathise with their grandparents, now they have to reap the whirlwind that 30 years of doing the three monkeys has created.

    Contrast that to other countries where these funds have been invested - the Canadian teachers pension fund owns the National Lottery operator amongst other assets which provide income to pay pensions. So everytime we play the lottery we help pay Canadian pensions.

    The unions can complain all they like and threaten to strike in support , but all that will do is further remove public support for even those public sector workers we still appreciate. If the government backs down then the issue will not go away and will just get worse and worse condeming future generations to even worse.
    Is it fair , no , but don't complain to the current taxpayers about it - complain to those who are responsible for it not being fair ... Your parents and the politicians they voted for.

  • Comment number 51.

    I find the suggestion appalling. I have worked in NHS for 20 years and paid into a pension for that time. Seldom do I work a 37.5 hour week, as the job is so demanding that extra hours are needed- I do not get overtime. I have built a career only having time off for stautory maternity leave. I have never claimed any benefits from the state other than child benefit. I now pay 40% tax, pick up all costs relating to my children and other items. I find it insulting that despite paying into the system there will not be any acknowledgement of this in my later years. I do not get free dinners, lap tops, school trips etc for my children - like most other workers I have far less diposable cash that those who do not pay in. An overhaul of the benefit sysytem will save money not looking at pensions and blaming it on people for being healthy and living longer!!
    I quite agree with previous comments- we need a revolution- everyone should strike for a day (I will be exempt as a nurse- I don't agree that nurses should not strike. No-one should do anything and bring the economy to a halt- only money seems to matter.

  • Comment number 52.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 53.

    They've not seen the report and are already talking of striking. Go ahead, we will wait you out and then we will see if we really need all of you.

    Welcome to the real world

  • Comment number 54.

    41. At 07:53am on 10 Mar 2011, ursula wrote:
    I am really distressed about this. I am 50 and have been paying in to the pension since I started teaching in 1997 (at age 37). The fact that I had a reasonable pension - despite starting teaching so late was taken into account in my divorce settlement.

    ==================================================

    I'm not sure pensions should ever have been taken into account in divorce settlements, as so few of them were guaranteed. Equitable Life I think has finally reached a satisfactory conclusion, but there was a possibility that things could have gone the other way. Perhaps you should refer this matter back to your lawyer as poor advice?

  • Comment number 55.

    The problem lies in being given too much choice,being confused with stupid rules and sheer incompetence of successive governments over the past 50 years.Its not rocket science to see that when you get older that you still need income to buy food and pay the bills.When "most" but not all public service workers were first employed the only attraction of what was deemed a pretty awful job was the generous pension provision.I remember as a secondary schoolboy(those who didnt go to Grammer School and were thought of as thick) the afternoons when prospective employers came to canvass for new recruits,this included the civil service and to be fair what they offered was pretty bleak.At the time I had a paper round and used to clear more money with tips than the average civil servant cleared in a week.However,like most other employers they did manage to entice some with promises and yet more promises of a golden retirement.I dont doubt that a few stuck with the civil service and then looked forward to a retirement on generous pensions.I actually met a civil servant some years ago who told me his pension was more than he ever earned as an employee!.What annoys me is that it was always very clear that pensions were unsustainable because the actual working population in each occupation was declining because of technology advances and different working practices.Governments have ignored this and just applied sticking plasters to try and make the problem go away.Not every civil servant gets a fortune in pay in fact most earn very little and their pensions will be pretty small compared to the Whitehall mandarins,but guess what they will always take the blame not the fat cats.What we all need is a different attitude to saving,imposed if need be to get people used to retirement and what it really costs.In return government needs to back off and stop interferring with pensions because they have no idea of how they work bar when it comes to their turn to collect,then they certainly know exactly what they will get.To make pensions fair how about stopping taxing people on the actual pension they receive over a certain amount?Why should you be taxed on your own money which you have saved?Why should you get tax relief on contributions?- especially those on higher incomes,you shouldnt need incentive to save. Why should only those who work be able to make contributions,thats madness?Surely a an entire new system could be put together where everyone working or not made adequate provision for later years.Its obvious that a NI stamp paid is totally useless and means nothing,yet another government failure.The whole pensions fiasco can be turned around but it will need much soul searching from everyone and then the will to get on with it!

  • Comment number 56.

    43. At 07:54am on 10 Mar 2011, newshounduk wrote:

    To cap it all there will be people who have never worked a day in their life who will qualify for a pension free of charge.

    ============================================

    But there is assistance which previously people could have claimed instead?


  • Comment number 57.

    18. At 07:02am on 10 Mar 2011, PeterLanky wrote:
    As already stated. Public sector pensions are far from gold plated, apart from the fortunate few, which the media concentrates on. However, I do believe all final salary pensions should be replaced by average career earnings. Many senior public servants enjoys multiple promotions in their later career, hugely increasing their pension at the expense or Mr Average. If you work 30 years with average salary of £25K and get 3 promotions in 10 years bringing salary up to £60K, then the pension is paid as if that person had earned £60K all their 40 years. That can't be right, and most would be better of if the system changed.

    ###############

    This "sounds" fair - I don't know if it is. People currently employed in public sector final salary schemes could tell you.

    I left teaching 15 years ago after working less than a 1/4 of the years required for a full teacher pension (payable when I finally get to pension age) I can draw it. When I was teaching, I didn't think once about the pension, on entering, or leaving. My interest was teaching children, to the best of my ability, not the pension.

    However IF you are correct, then it seems it would be in my interest to get back into teaching as I near retiremnet age, if only for a couple of years. That can't be right. 15 years ago I left with a final salary of some £15k pa, currently the same is about £28k and in 17 years time when I expect to retire, I expect salaries for the same grade might be something like £40k pa. It can't be right for people like me to pop in for a few years at the end, and boost my pension nearly three fold (even though the total amount will be small because of the low no of years worked).

    Nevertheless, to be fair to those on existing schemes, who may have entered because of pension arrangements ( I don't know who would, when they're only 22 years old), changes should only be made for new employees.

  • Comment number 58.

    The mindless drivel goes on as misguided politicians, who somehow think our global economics are okay because they're okay thank you very much. They are subservient to a mindless economic system which will not be satisfied until there are no jobs left and no people left.

    And the reason for this mess is that people use money that does not belong to them. They do it in banks, in companies, in government, every darned place you look there is some human being who cannot keep their hands off of what is not theirs.

    Let us all peacefully meet on a given day in the squares Trafalgar and Parliament and not leave until our servants in Westminster deliver something more like a decent life to all of us.

  • Comment number 59.

    i will have paid 40 years pension when i reach 62 and now they want me to retire at 68, i think 40 years is enough to pay in to the system for me to retire, and i will have done 40 years working nights

  • Comment number 60.

    It's about time these greeding, grabbing public servants lived by the same rules as everyone else. Why should I be forced against my will to contribute to the pension of a public servant & then be too finacially impoverished to afford one for myself. It's obscene that they get preferential treatment - after all, we're all supposed to be equal, aren't we?

  • Comment number 61.

    It is wrong to say that my pension to date will be protected. Fundamentally the pot i have added to ( and paid extra into ) over the past 16 years will change from the one i bought in to. They want to cut my lump sum, make me pay more, work for longer and then give me less! Averaging it over the final three years is a scam. Am i likely to be a full time worker at the age of 65? Would parents or students want a 65 year old (currently called pensioners) teacher them A levels? Of course not. I will be too tired to do this at that age and that is expected. Therefore my pension is will be even less. I have not got time to build an additional pension pot to cover the loss created my these changes. I suggest that for people who have been in the scheme under the age of 40 and in the scheme for less than 10 years, take on the new measures and honor the pension agreement to everyone else. Liberal democrats should be ashamed that they are adding their name to this robbery on of our pensions.

  • Comment number 62.

    I think the proposal of average instead of final salary will again penalise women who take time out of their careers to have children. I suspect on ‘average’ it takes us longer to get to higher positions as we take time out for family. Also our earnings are a pittance during maternity with a poxy £124 a week. I bet Lord Hutton is aware of this but really does not give a damn for leaving women even more disadvantaged in business.

  • Comment number 63.

    As for private pensions, and the variety of them - there is a complete industry built up around them, they are so complex. The Trust Deed and Rules generally run to over 100 pages. How many people really understood the document and its implications?

  • Comment number 64.

    Can I just point out that the pension scheme I'm in, the Local Government Pension Scheme (the LGPS) is by far the largest public sector scheme with 4.5 million members and it is FULLY SELF FUNDING. This means that it is completely paid for by member contributions (in fact, it has an annual surprplus at present); it does not cost the taxpayer anything. There are concerns that the extra 3% charge (which will go to the Treasury) may render the scheme non-viable as many people may choose to opt out of it; if the scheme goes bust it will push more pensioners onto state benefits when they retire.

    I have to say, the fat cat industry bosses and government figures have done a masterful job - they sit back and watch public and private sector workers tear each other to pieces as both are convinced that the "other side" lives where the grass is greener. In fact, all workers are on the same side and should turn their ire against bosses and politicians who have continuously erroded things like pensions whilst protecting their own privileges.

    You get endless comments from private sector workers who post drivel about how the public sector is composed of unemployable layabouts on massive salaries and gold-plated pensions. I have to wonder why they didn't get a job there themselves since it's so much better.

  • Comment number 65.

    Paul Tapner wrote: comment eight: [and everyone else]. Right back at you. As the story [if you'd care to read it first] the average public sector pension is £7800 a year.I'm sorry that the private sector is in a mess pension wise but why can't they sort themselves out? Why should the public sector have to take a hit because of it?

    I understand that maths is difficult for some people but let me explain something. Averages can be skewed easily so to take averages on face value you need to know somneting about the sample population. your figure, if correct, probably includes people who worked for the council for different periods of time - a couple of years, five years, ten years and so on. Some working for the shorter periods accumulated very little pension but if they are included in the average payout then they bring the figure down. That does not in any way suggest that a public sector pension is poor.

    The fact is that something has to change. the current model is based on life expectancy in the 50s or 60s. It sickens me that I'm unable to save more for my retirement because an increasing slice of my council tax is paying for guaranteed public sector worker pensions whilst at the same time my own pension pots are decreasing due to the economy or are in deficit.

  • Comment number 66.

    17. At 07:01am on 10 Mar 2011, Justanumber wrote:
    Pensins and everything costs money, and where does the money come from? Taxation and stocks and shares. If you live longer then you need more money, if you strip the banks of their top workers, not that I agree with the vast nouns they get but that's another story, then they may make less meaning you need more tax. You don't just magic money out of thin air.
    So as the private sector has just gone through a lot of these end of final salary pension and moving to average salary, why should the public sector be different? After all the private sector contribute tax, which goes towards the public pension? Oddly I don't see any public salary going towards my private pension.

    Fairs fair...we had it good for a long time, enjoy living longer so we need to save more.


    ////////////////////////////////////////////

    Whatever the reasons, the attitude of “Why should They get it when I don’t” will not actually help anyone. Inflated salary's at the Top and the obscene amount paid in bonuses, far from being a different story, are one of the reason, we as a country, cant forfill its promise to pay the amount agreed in the contract

    Sadly the greed and envy of the bankers extends to the public


  • Comment number 67.

    42. At 07:53am on 10 Mar 2011, Johns the Man wrote:

    The Pensions fiasco originally started under Thatcher

    =================================================


    John, the pension fiasco started when penicillin was discovered and other medical advances were made, and people began to live far longer than had been envisaged when pensions were introduced, but little was done to allow for that.

    Penicillin came into its own during WWII. Labour were voted in in 1945.

    Everyone from then on has ignored these factors, hence the problems now.

  • Comment number 68.

    I have a husband whose a teacher, he works in holidays, in an evening and on weekends. Although some people may think teachers work only within school time, they dont. They dont get paid for this so what incentives are there? A good pension at the end! Also can you see a fire fighter working til their 65? Old age sometimes hits you at 50! This is one more nail in the coffin for those caring men and women who look after us. Who looks after them?

  • Comment number 69.

    paul tapner wrote: I'm sorry that the private sector is in a mess pension wise but why can't they sort themselves out? Why should the public sector have to take a hit because of it?

    WHAT !!!!

    This shows a huge lack of understanding. Private pensions are based on investment. If the economy struggles the pension investments decline. In much of the public sector there is no investment - the government takes what it needs - when it needs it - from the CURRENT contributions by taxpayers.

    The fact is that to maintain public sector pensions it is the taxpayer that takes a hit. Money is taken from the taxpayer at exactly the same time that they need to be putting more in themselves.

    The public sector are paid from OUR taxes - they should not be better off than the equivalent private sector worker... and NOT worse off either.

  • Comment number 70.

    Not before time....this section of the community has become far too strong.....its time they were brought down like the miners....I can see that those who run the country and I dont mean muppets like Thatcher/Blair/Brown/Cameron have to keep a balnce....if one section of the community got too powerful as they have it could be anorchy = thats people who are not made accountable for their actions = public sector in a nutshell...they just do as they want, when they want, how they want...its got to stop.

  • Comment number 71.

    The church bells should be ringing throughout the land at this announcement even if it is 40 years too late. Naturally we'll get the usual bellyaching and posturing from the Trades Unions about erosion of their supposed god-given rights but why just why should the rest of us work until we're 65 to subsidise the early retirement of these shirkers? 'But we're paid less' will be the next cry and squeal - yeah because from my experience of the public sector from my time many years ago in general it attracts a less, motivated, less flexible poorer calibre of employee. On Friday afternoons and after 5pm in the evening the buildings would empty and the conclusion I left with was most of the public sector colleagues I encountered wouldn't last 5 minutes in the private sector due to their inflexible attitudes. Bring it on - it couldn't happen soon enough!

  • Comment number 72.

    65. At 08:15am on 10 Mar 2011, pb wrote:
    Paul Tapner wrote: comment eight: [and everyone else]. Right back at you. As the story [if you'd care to read it first] the average public sector pension is £7800 a year.I'm sorry that the private sector is in a mess pension wise but why can't they sort themselves out? Why should the public sector have to take a hit because of it?

    =================================================

    Because taxation pays for public sector pensions. Gordon Brown did serious damage to private sector pensions - private sector pensions come from individuals' contributions to a scheme, together with their employers' contributions.


  • Comment number 73.

    39. ruffled_feathers wrote:

    If anyone can still afford it, I think your money is safer under the mattress.

    Though it makes me cringe, I think you are right.

    An endowment we took out in 1993 is now worth about the same as the money we paid in - but we lose a good percentage if we cash it in. If I'd put the money in a deposit account bank, even at two percent average and less tax, we would have been better off.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ask Lord Hutton if his future is secure. He has had the opportunity to secure his future because of the salary he will have been paid over the years. Some of the workers included in his 'report' are low paid public employees who have worked for over 30 years, in some cases, to secure a future for their family. Does Lord Hutton live in the real world? I hope the unions do take action and stand up for their members. Maybe Lord Hutton should change places with one of these workers to see how hard it is to live on low wages and then to have to pay towards a pension that will be greatly reduced under his proposals

  • Comment number 75.

    The NHS pension scheme collected £6.9 billion from it's members in 2007/2008 and paid out £4.9 billion in pensions during the same period. That means that only 28% of what is being collected is being invested properly for the pensions of current NHS employees. The NHS pension scheme did not receive any additional contribution from tax payers.

    The problem is not that they are not paying enough but rather that the state has repeatedly stolen from public sector pension funds and has never invested the contributions taken from employee pay to make any provision for the pensions people were paying for - either by means of explicit deductions for a pension fund or by means of very low salaries. That money was used by the state - the notional "tax payers".

    If we really want fairness then the NHS and other similar public pension schemes should receive all of the money needed to pay the pensions of current pensioners from the public purse to the extent that the public purse took the money that should have been for their pensions and spent it.

    If we did that the amount being invested towards future pensions for those paying in now would immediately increase more than threefold without requiring any additional contribution from them.

    We all benefited from taking those pension funds in years gone by. Why should it be only public sector employees who have to pay for that?

  • Comment number 76.

    I am a public sector worker I am a female firefighter and I wonder whether or not consideration has been given to the fact that physiologically as we get older our standard of physical strength and fitness declines, I know how arduous our job can be and I look at the people I know 60yrs + and I know without a shadow of a doubt the vast majorty could not do my job to the standard that is required when someones life is on the line, I think the public deserve better than what will become a geriatric rescue service. So if you need to put contributions so be it but think long and hard about making us work longer. This is just another example of the government not looking at the bigger picture and how there is no aspect of our lives that they will not take from.

  • Comment number 77.

    Again an attack onto the lowest wage earners, such as nurses, and their dedicated personal attitude to ther profession, who have also paid there stamp, and personal pensions. Prior to me retiring on a 1k pension, I had salary outgoings of over 1k per month on tax, serps, and nhs stamp. Yet many thousand made consientous decissions to be self employed, not to belong to the "elite club," only to expect them all free.

    Where is the fairness in that. Yet no mention of the high court judges, MP's, and the many thousand civil servants with a very rich quick attitude. Instead the raise the issue people live longer and have more, but never mention they made very big mistakes 30 yeras ago, and never thought of that same issue when they expected the health professionals to address these same imperfections without looking at what if people did live longer?

    Sadly we now have a political system that expacts these kind hearted persons to strike. In the 70's I was a person who refused to strike, but now of course I fully support it, thinking of the tolpuddle marters, what did they achieve? other than a system that attacks the lowest earners, and protects the richest.

    We look at the arab world and think poor blighters, whilst politicians and media ponder over what can be done, yet ignore the plight of the english citizen, who will have to pay for it. WAKE UP!

    Since maggies days there has been decades of serious research showing poverty is the main cause for most illnesses, deaths, and even recessions.

  • Comment number 78.

    A more sensible solution to pensions would be to get rid of all public sector and private sector schemes. The taxpayer's money that would then be saved could be used to give every qualifying person an adequate state pension schems, probably at least £15k (index linked) per person. Anyone wanting more than that in retirement (the likes of Fred "The Shred" Goodwin) should make their own provision without relying on the taxpayer. This would create a totally fair system which is, after all, what politicians are always aiming for (he sys with tongue firmly in cheek).

  • Comment number 79.

    We should talk about pensions later. If our economy re-grows, then pensions will not be a big issue for our society.

    I believe that the only way to forward our economy is to grow innovation industry and to create jobs along the line, because the traditional industry has already been saturated and no more room for growth.

    In the past, the majority of the innovation projects failed, because public sector managers have no intention to make any cases work. They have been treating others’ inventions as tools for them to milk public fund. Inventors should be put in charge to develop and commercialise their own inventions.

    How to grow innovation industry?

    1. We have to change our mind-set treating granted patents as real assets (real property). Granted patents should be able to use as bank guarantee for loan.

    2. The government provides 70% of innovation grants for inventors to develop their inventions. Innovation grants should never be allocated to projects without a granted patent.

    3. Interest free loan should be offered to the SME patent owner to cover the rest of 30% development cost. And then, to follow Mr Cable's tuition fee model, the repayment don’t start until the commercialised products are start earning more than 100K.

  • Comment number 80.

    We cannot afford final salary pensions for the public sector.

    If, like me, you are self employed contributing to a private pension this is patently obvious. If not, take a look at the private sector where most employers have terminated them.

    There is no way the rest of us should pay for soemthing we can't afford for ourselves!

    Having said this, the public sector should be paid the equivalent of private sector employees (BUT WITHOUT ALL THE HOLIDAYS AND SICK LEAVE) and the State Pension should be significantly increased - under £100 per week is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 81.

    Some of the comments on here really defy belief,

    As a prison officer, i earn £28,000 per annum, not exacty a massive amount considering the role that my colleagues and i perform on a daily basis.To be able to retire at 65, i pay £80 per month into a pension scheme and will earn a pension of around £8000, hardly gold plated i think.

    To add insult to this i am being told that my job is being re evaluated(pay cut) and to expect to retire at probably 90 years old by the time i reach retirement age.On top of this i have been told not to expect a pay rise for the foreseeable future. All the while petrol prices rise, food bills rise, utility bills rise....all of which is being suffered by all working people in this stinking country of ours.

    Until ALL working people stand up in this country and say "thats it we can't pay any more" we will be forever laughed at by any political party that graces parliament.

    The public sector workers that people need to see suffer are the high end earners, judges, politicians etc not people on wages like myself. Please realise we public sector workers are not all on massive wages/pensions and some of us do a very demanding and dangerous job. How many people out ther would relish controlling violent prisoners on a daily basis for under 30 grand? Not many i would guess, and how many would try to retake a prison that has rioted as seen in many instances over the last three months, again for under 30 grand?

    Welcome to my world......



  • Comment number 82.

    When will Members of Parliament and the House of Lords be reducing their pensions and perks to help out our beleaguered nation?

    Neviholl

  • Comment number 83.

    28. At 07:25am on 10 Mar 2011, Pyroclastic Flo wrote:
    " ..I for one will eat and drink to excess thus doing my bit to reduce the pension deficit and I'll probably have a good time doing it:-)"

    ********
    Spoken like a true geologist! I salute you !!

  • Comment number 84.

    Most public sector pensions are very small but the public sector should be made to wait till they are 65 before they can claim their pensions with exceptions like the armed forces, police, fire service who cannot work till they are 65 and over. they should also end final salery pensions in the public sector that would save millions

  • Comment number 85.

    So this week it is public sector pensions that are all to blame, not so long ago it was men getting paid more than women that was the problem and still is, don't forget promotion as well, ah but a wee bit longer ago, then it was and is the older worker holding younger workers from getting on the jobs market, don't forget the scroungers that won't work their the problem as well, what of the single mothers claiming benefits. then there is the elephant in the room, got to quote the in sayings of course, what of immigration, now theres another problem. I could go on and on of the problems this country is supposedly facing, some may be real, others convenient for a time.

    where then for this big society, this country is so riven with division and envy of the the other man/ womens grass is always greener not forgetting pure greed. perhaps if all those condemming the public sector pensions looked at the whole package then most public sector pensions would not be so rediculous. just remember it was the greed of the private sector that caused much of the crises the country now faces, before any one tell us that it was the governments fault for not regulating, is the private sector not still also calling for more deregulation? Just because it is not illegal to do something it does not follow that it should be done, some integrity and good planning should be in the business private or public!

  • Comment number 86.

    "How should pensions be revised?"

    Within the Public-sector at least, I think that ALL employees, from the bottom to the top - should receive the SAME basic level of Pension...
    After all, since 'Fat-Cat' Management receive FAR higher WAGES than the ordinary workers - why should they not be expected to put extra money from THEIR OWN Salaries - towards their own retirement?

    Wage-levels within the Public-sector should not be higher than wages within the Private-sector - after all - Public-sector workers generally receive far more 'perks' than those in the Private-sector anyway. Either THAT, or Public-sector workers should forego these 'perks'.

    Personally, I think that the ONLY people in the Public-sector who should receive significantly better pay than the average worker - should be those who work in 'high-risk' areas - such as Medical staff, Fire-fighters, Police & Military. THEY have FAR more responsible AND dangerous jobs...

    Private-sector workers are no longer satisfied with the unfairly-generous employment PACKAGE that Public-employees receive...

  • Comment number 87.

    I assume this includes MPs can not see any mention of it in there,must have slipped their mind.

  • Comment number 88.

    Poster no70

    Are you going to be willing to subsidise all of the public sector workers you wish to make jobless??

    A very silly post showing a lack of foresight into what will happen should you get your wish. What do you think will happen if public sector workers pull out of their pension schemes? the country will have to look after them in retirement just like they are with the lazy layabouts who have neither worked nor wanted over the last half century.

    Paople talk about storing up issues for future generations, this is exactly what the government are doing by messing around with ordinary working peoples futures.

  • Comment number 89.

    Recent remuneration packages for Bankers are around £10m per annum. Average public sector pension £7,800 that's the pension of over 1,280 public sector pensions from one banker's salary.

    What's fair and equitable about that?

    An EO in most Government departments will retire on £12,000 pension and only if they have paid in for 40 years.
    While public sector pay has gone some way to levelling off with private sector salaries an EO on Maximum salary on a pay scale that took 20+ years to reach is at £24,240 is far behind the national average of full time workers which last year stood at £31,323.

    Figures for Admin Officers and Admin Assistants (AA’s) are far lower. AA’s are on barely 20p more than the National Minimum Wage.AA's retire on an average of £3000 pension, AO's @£4000.

    Perhaps when MP’s have put their own pension house in order they can start looking at the country’s employees.

  • Comment number 90.

    Stop the gravy train that is politicians pensions i notice none of them are making any cuts whatsoever scrounging leeches every one of them.
    As for the MEP's ripping us off its or should be criminal again scrounging leeches.
    Its the same old same old the poor are getting shafted whilst the wealthy are making more money out of the poor being shafted, VIVA LE REVOLUTION.
    The thing is they don't even realise the poor are slowly but surely waking up and are quickly getting fed up with being ripped off by the ruling elite in parliaBENT and their mates.
    I fought for my country because i felt it was the right thing to do, if i knew then what i know now i would not of done so, do they think we won't rise up, it may of been a few centuries ago when we last did, i personally think we should do so again.
    Or would the governbent set the troops on us like they do the police?

  • Comment number 91.

    Everyone should pay their way, and that is everyone no secured pensions paid additional to salary, you negotiate an income then pay your own.

    NI contributions should be paid by everyone, set minimum allowance e.g. £5 per week, children pay through family allowance, pensioners through pensions, unemployed from benefit and workforce as is, all visitors to the country must have health insurance or no treatment. Once a minimum NI payment is made state pension starts to be accrued, so if working this will increase rapid, life long benefit then very little state pension.
    All pensions will be secured by law, no gambling by the finance institutions, regulated with heavy fines if they do.

    If we don't keep striving for growth, then pay and pensions will change very little in the next 20 - 30 years. Also remember, someone who paid £500 per annum 50 years ago is the same as a person paying £7500 today. The investment is there no matter how long you live, if it's not the banks have squandered your money or lost it on the gambling machines.

    The public sector have a no lose pension backed by the taxpayer, the private sector have to take risks with banks. I have lost over £80,000 of my pension funds, 60% in 1995 never recovered to date, then further loses with the recent crisis. The current pension I am contributing to is actually worth less than what has been paid into it, not a smart move and certainly not an investment. My advice at present, forget pensions and pay the max amount into an ISA per year, at least its safe.

  • Comment number 92.

    73. At 08:24am on 10 Mar 2011, pb wrote:
    39. ruffled_feathers wrote:

    If anyone can still afford it, I think your money is safer under the mattress.

    Though it makes me cringe, I think you are right.

    An endowment we took out in 1993 is now worth about the same as the money we paid in - but we lose a good percentage if we cash it in. If I'd put the money in a deposit account bank, even at two percent average and less tax, we would have been better off.

    ========================================

    Word of warning: endowments were never meant to be short-term - they were originally intended to run for 25 years. Clearly I cannot guarantee what yours will do, but it is still quite young for an endowment!

  • Comment number 93.

    Judging by the sniping between public and private sector employees on this forum, it would seem that the governments strategy is working. They want to fleece everybody and blame everyone except themselves, the inequalities will increase relentlessly.

    I decided to stop paying into a pension "plan" a few years ago and have since managed to save more than I could have accumulated in a "managed" pension plan, since I'm not paying any charges to the leeches who "administer" these scams. Ironically I can probably retire sooner than if I had followed the "proper" route and lined the pockets of the people administering these scams.
    Mind you it says it all when today it was announced there are more billionaires this year than last year. Rich get richer etc.....

  • Comment number 94.

    Oh please WAKE UP YOU ARE ALL BEING RIPPED OFF CONNED STOLEN FROM if anyone honestly thinks this recession was not caused on purpose then seriously stop watching the news and stop reading the papers and most of all question everything this lot do and how they set us up to do what they wish.
    I've heard rumours from serving members of the armed forces that some are being asked if they would fire on the British people, now why would they want to know that?

  • Comment number 95.

    This debate was had before, and all the vitriol came out then as well.

    It was pointed out at that stage that, rather than negatively bashing Public Sector pensions and moaning about how good they are in comparison to Private Sector pensions, we should turn that on its head and say "Hey, Public Sector pensions are good, we want Private Sector pensions to be just as good!"

    This and previous governments have you eating out of their hands, doing their dirty work for them through a small bit of propaganda and human nature (nobody else should have what I don't have).

    Now, please don't get me wrong, here. If civil servants need to pay more money in to plug a hole, then they should certainly do that. This should not be a Ponzi scheme, like our state pension. But rather than noting that someone else might get more of a pension than you, accept that it is an equitable pension and you need to put your own house in order, forcing private companies to offer better pensions. This could be done without the usual "they'll just go elsewhere if we bite back" apology for doing nothing. Despite wanting to make a profit, most companies do actually care about their workforce - if only because without them they'd have no product to sell - and will negociate hard but fairly to reach a more acceptable pension solution.

    Some of you, though, would rather put others down than build yourself up. As I said - a little propaganda and human nature does the trick every time.

  • Comment number 96.

    Our government is currently trying to encourage people to invest in pensions instead of other investments such as housing. People using property as a pension alternative raises house prices and stops young people getting on the housing ladder apparently.

    At the same time, in a spectacular display of incompetence, our superb government manages to undermine the pension system by deciding that it can change the rules whenever, and however it choses.

    Who's to say they won't change it again in a few years time? Investing in property seems less risky to me.

  • Comment number 97.

    Just seen Hutton on the news saying this will be a fairer system. I doubt it wil hit the people it should target senior mangers, mps, senior civil servants these are the people who take most out of the pot and they should be the people who should be hit hardest.

  • Comment number 98.

    At last some common sense on the issue of pensions in the public sector. The irony is that for a workforce so obsessed with pensions (most start planning their retirement the day they start work) the vast majority of public sector workers haven't a clue about teh funding of pension schemes and just how much it costs to fund a final salary scheme. The shift proposed ie to CARE based scheme is extremely sensible and still provides a very good pension. The amounts paid by workers - currently about 6.5% (unless you are a policeman who retire whilst they are still in nappies)is a fraction of the cost of funding such a benefit. The fact is we are living longer and hence get more in benefits no matter what the BBC spin puts on it. Consequently with more benefits it is only logical that members should have to pay more.
    This is nothing to do with the bankers so forget that red herring!

  • Comment number 99.

    I have never rated our political system simply because its party based (tribal) and it does nothing for us for the man in the street and the public sector pension fiasco is a good example.

    The problem of public sector pensions which are predominantly pay as you go, in other words there is not fund they come out of current taxation (hence the rising police budgets with pensions accounting for 17 -25% of your local police annual budget) was reported on back in the 1960’s and yet over five decades later not one political party has done anything about it, why because it suited those in power and bureaucracy as they received those nice pensions.

    David Cameron was supposed to be making a decision on whether to change the lucrative Prime Minister pension which a prime minister is awarded as soon as they become Prime Minister but as I understand no such decision has been made. No wonder most Prime Minister can afford to retire and write their memoirs.

    However it is not just the public sector pensions that want reviewing the private sector pensions also want reviewing as it is just a way for the financial institution to milk yet more money from the hard worker and reality it is one continuous gamble.

    It’s a gamble that you have chosen the best pension company. For many their scheme has been chosen by the company directors being offered lucrative incentives to choose a particular pension company for the scheme.

    It’s a gamble that your money if being paid into the better funds within the pension company. I bet most people do not understand that a pension company has hundreds of different funds, some which perform well and many that perform badly. Instead they believe that because they pay into Blah Blah company they are going to get the best deal. I also suspect that many do not fully understand the management costs they pay for their pension scheme.

    It’s a gamble that the world economy does not crash because it seems to me that after one black day on the stock markets it takes several years before your pension fund value recovers by which time we are due for another black day.

    It’s a gamble that when you come to buy your annuity (the actual pension) that the annuity rates will be high.

    It’s a gamble that over the pension saving period that idiotic politicians do not keep changing the rules that cause your pension fund to be robbed, like the introduction of the pension protection fund that has robbed many peoples funds, or that they change the taxation rules which rob your pension when you finally receive it.

    It’s a gamble that real inflation (that is the cost of products) and not the artificial political inflation figures, does not erode your funds over the years.


    Pensions are one of the worst gambles going and like most gambling situations the only people who win are the book keepers, the financiers who are awarding themselves big bonuses even when things go wrong.

  • Comment number 100.

    Another point.

    Surely, the changes being made should only apply to 'new' entrants into the system. However unfair the new pensions seem at least 'new' entrants will be aware of the costs upfront and can make their decisions bases on them.

    Changing the pensions of 'existing' contibutors is not only unfair but surely borders on fraud or even theft. All those people paying in for years are now being told that the value of their contributions are worth less. How can people be expected to plan ahead when the rules can be changed at a whim?

 

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