Belfast Telegraph

Public servants facing big cuts to pensions

By John Mulgrew

Public servants have enjoyed a generous guaranteed pension based on their earnings at the end of their career and length of service.

The typical annual payout from a civil servant’s final salary scheme is significantly bigger than that of a private sector employee.

But as we live longer, the rising costs associated with final salary schemes have put their future in doubt.

Following a review carried out by Lord Hutton in March, the UK’s six million public sector workers are faced with retiring later and paying more for a less generous scheme — career average pensions.

According to Hargreaves Lansdown, the financial advisers, a nurse starting on a salary of £15,000 and ending on one of £25,000 30 years later would receive an annual pension of £12,500 under a final salary scheme.

They will receive £11,957 under a career average.

On the other hand, a civil servant who started his career on £30,000 a year and 30 years later was bringing in a salary of £80,000 would lose almost £10,000 per year in retirement. A final salary scheme would give them £40,000, but the new career average would reduce it to just £30,662.

At the moment teachers get an average of just over £10,000 a year, with police on about £15,500.

But an employee in the private sector averages less than £2,000 a year on a retirement pot of around £30,000.

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