Over the last week, more divisive mis-representations from the government have appeared regarding public sector pensions. They have attacked the '85' rule which they wish to see abolished. The rule states that where an employee's age plus his/her years of service is equal to, or greater than 85, then they are eligible to retire. The example given, by the government, is that of a person aged 60 with 25 years service retiring on full pension. This is not valid. A person may be able to apply to retire where the 85 rule is complied with, but unless a cost saving can be made by the employer, i.e. their post will be deleted on retirement, they will not be granted leave to retire. Additionally their level of pension will be restricted to be commensurate with their number of years service, i.e. not a full pension. I personally know of people who are over 60 and who have more than 40 years of service who have been refused permission to retire, even though each further year of service does not contribute to any further enhancement of their own pension entitlement.
The main gripers regarding public sector pension rights are the government, our elected representatives, and the CBI, their masters. Is it a case of envy? I think not.
An MP's pension, after 26 years service, is an indexed linked £38,000 per year. And the CBI members who wrote to complain about the current public sector pension scheme all have personal pension plans allowing them to retire at 60 on pensions 26 times the level of a public sector worker.
The average annual pension for a local government worker is £3,800.