Public Sector Workers Enjoy 30 Years in Retirement

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Typical public
sector workers will soon be able to spend around 30 years enjoying
an "unsustainable" taxpayer-funded retirement, a report
warned yesterday.

Lord Hutton,
the former cabinet minister reviewing public sector pensions, is
drawing up plans that mean government workers delaying their retirement
by at least five years.

Most public
sector workers are currently able to retire at 60, or earlier. This
is now likely to rise to 65 by 2020.

Teachers, NHS
staff and Whitehall mandarins could live for about 30 years after
retirement yet are providing only a fraction of the costs of their

As life expectancy
rises, the retirement age has remained the same for more than 50

The cost of
the taxpayer-funded pensions has risen by more than a third –
with the costs met by the Government. In future, retirement ages
will be linked to life expectancy, so many workers will be uncertain
when they can retire.

A shake-up
to make the pensions more affordable will also lead to middle-class
public servants contributing more towards their retirement from
next year.

They could
see their pension contributions rise by more than two per cent of
their salaries under plans to be unveiled in the Government’s
comprehensive spending review later this month.

Unions have
reacted angrily to the proposals and are threatening a series of
public sector strikes.

Lord Hutton,
the former Labour pensions secretary, published his interim report
yesterday. It lays bare the crisis facing public finances because
of the unaffordable pensions offered to millions of public sector

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9, 2010

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