UK

Public pensions: Your stories

Two pensioners

Members of public sector pension schemes should pay higher contributions, says an independent commission led by Lord Hutton.

The change is an initial recommendation from the commission, which was set up to consider ways to cut the rising cost of public sector pension schemes.

BBC News website readers have been sending in their reaction to Lord Hutton's recommendations.

Susan Wilde is a teacher in Devon

Six per cent of my salary, that I pay each year to get 1/80th of my final salary, is not enough - even though it is paltry in comparison with the 4% my sister pays to a large private employer's scheme to get 1/60th of her final salary.

I've spoken to friends who work in the private sector and about two-thirds of them have made no provisions for their old age.

I work hard and pay taxes, and my children will too.

They all excel in school - we are likely to have a police officer, a lawyer and (god forbid) a banker among them - and they will be the ones paying for the retirement of the 65% of the private sector employees who have not contributed much to their pensions.

Kayley is a police officer in Surrey

I'm 22 and have been a police officer with the Metropolitan police for three years.

We have already had a pay freeze and now this risk of pension cuts.

Our job is a lot harder than jobs such as an office worker. It's a stupid decision to cut budgets, pay and now pensions from the people who put their lives on the line for this country.

I can imagine the reaction of MPs if their wages were cut. Perhaps that's a better option as they certainly earn way too much for doing nothing.

I knew the police force had a good pension, so it was part of the reason for joining, but I also wanted to be a police officer and to do the job.

Now I'm a bit annoyed - my wages have been frozen for two years, budgets have been cut and so we're also lacking resources.

Now we're being told our pensions will be cut and we will have to pay more. It just seems that the public sector is bearing the brunt of the cuts.

They don't seem to be fairly spread across all the jobs in the country. The government wants a quick fix and it sees the public sector as an easy way of getting that.

Les Pittwood works for a local council in Devon

I am 54 and have worked in the public sector for 20 years.

I work for my local district council, so our pensions are lower than the average quoted by Lord Hutton, ours are more like £4,000.

I was hoping to retire at 62, but that's now a moveable feast.

It is good to see that Lord Hutton recognises that public sector pensions (averaging £7,800 currently) are not gold-plated.

He is wrong to say there is no evidence that public sector workers have accepted lower pay in the knowledge that they will receive higher pensions, because that is the very contract that all working in the public sector make when joining.

That is certainly the view that I took. It would be morally wrong to change the rules for existing employees who have already devoted many years of dedicated service to the community at a lower than average pay rate.

In the public sector we already face three years without a pay rise because of a crisis that was not caused by public sector workers, or the last Labour government but by the fat cat bankers and their greedy ways which show no signs whatsoever of abating.

If any pensions need looking at it is those of the bonus kings in the city, and MPs who have real 24 carat gold-plated pensions for a minimal "service" whilst often having a well paid second job on the side.

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