General Chat Thread, Public sector pensions facing 'reform' aka. 'the chop' in General; It has long been accepted in the public sector that whilst our pay is generally lower than that of our ...
15th June 2010, 09:20 AM #1
Public sector pensions facing 'reform' aka. 'the chop'
It has long been accepted in the public sector that whilst our pay is generally lower than that of our private sector colleagues, we make up for that difference with a decent benefits package - pensions, holidays etc...
It seems that the government now thinks it is unfair to be paying us public sector workers a fair wage, and also its unfair to be giving us a decent retirement plan.
I'm only 25 and I'm worried about this. What is the point of accepting much lower pay than in industry to work in the public sector, if we get s****d over every time the government needs a couple of quid?
Sure, I accept that we need to cut our deficit, but there are plenty of areas where this can be done, without completely messing up the future of those people who keep the government and its departments running.
Its a bit depressing really...
BBC News - Public sector pension costs 'to double in five years'
15th June 2010, 09:33 AM #2
It more to do with civil service pensions which are gold plated and protected. The difficult thing I faced thought was that the old pension scheme my employer was only putting in 6% put with the LGPS they put in 20%. It is also to do with how the pension scheme is run is not your pension your paying for but the a person who is currently retired.
15th June 2010, 09:39 AM #3
As I understand it, not all Govt pension schemes are properly funded & backed by investments & assets, some are funded from Govt revenue and these costs will be directly affected by an increase in the number of people retiring. A properly funded pension scheme has assets that is managed to provide funds when they are needed, private sector pension funds end up with 'holes' in them because employers take holidays from making their contributions when the investment funds do well & complain when the funds don't do well & they have to make up the shortfall.
Unfortunately all 'public' sector workers are tarred with the same brush. I believe all(most?) local government workers pensions are properly funded. I am not sure if the teachers pension is.... I believe it wasn't in the past.
The average local government pension is around £4000 pa, hardly gold-plated......
15th June 2010, 10:32 AM #4
Don't know how many people know this, but with the LGPS, as long as you put into it for the next 25 or however many years, you can be a street cleaner earning £8,000 a year for those 25 years. But if in the 26th year you become the director for cleaning services earning 85,000, you can take early retirement that year (assuming no contracts tying you for longer) and you'd get a pension based on that last year, not on the 25 years of input beforehand.
Why else do you think so many of the highest ranking jobs are held by, shall we say, those who are 'close to retirement'
15th June 2010, 11:05 AM #5
That's not completely true - eg in the teacher scheme the pension is based on the salary for the last 3 years and it's similar in a lot of other schemes.
Originally Posted by Rydra
It's also unrealistic to suggest that there are going to be many street cleaners who will have spent 25 years as a cleaner and will magically become director of cleaning services for the final year of their career (particularly as most of the street cleaning services are outsourced anyway!)
Finally, if you look at any organisation, private or public, you'll find that the highest ranking jobs are held by those who are closer to retirement - it's pretty rare for someone to get a job as director at the age of 21 and then work their way down the management chain until they retire!!
What we ought to be saying is not "how dreadful, public sector workers get a reasonable pension - we must take it away from them" but "how dreadful, private sector workers get a very poor pension - how can we make sure they get a better pension"
15th June 2010, 11:16 AM #6
Entirely agree with you; unfortunately the message seems to be "We (private sector workers) have been stitched up by our employers, so the public sector workers deserve stitching up too."
Originally Posted by srochford
15th June 2010, 11:22 AM #7
It gets my goat this schizzle between private and public sectors. The BBC have your say is rife with people who attack the public sector. Its common knowledge that public sector jobs are lower paid and pensions are higher, but people forget they have EVERY oppertunity to decide which sector they want to work in and if they choose private then thats completely their choice to do so. My opinion is that the financial crisis was created by the private sector and the public sector are the very first to be targeted.
15th June 2010, 11:23 AM #8
Also, we had large class devide under thatcher in the 70s and 80s. Are we now going down the same road using different terms for it?
15th June 2010, 11:38 AM #9
I'm sorry, but these days public sector pay is on a par, or better than the equivalent in the private sector, especially in IT Support.
However, I agree that just because the private sector pensions have been destroyed, that is no reason to turn on those in the public sector.
15th June 2010, 11:44 AM #10
Agree with you there - I got scr**ed over twice in the private sector - once by the firm and once by the pension provider, so last time I was made redundant I opted to take a lower paid job but a safe pension (given I was then over 40 and had little provision. I will be seriously dischuffed to get b*ggered about again simply to cough up my pension to ensure that the bankers don't have to pay their fair whack (anyone else watch Dispatches last night with Will Hutton?)
Originally Posted by broc
15th June 2010, 11:49 AM #11
I've been giving serious thought to stopping my pension payments and using an ISA as an pension pot.
currently in LGPS.
i just don't trust the government with my money and at retirement don't want to be shafted over.
do you guys still think its worth?
15th June 2010, 11:50 AM #12
I work in the private sector having worked in the public sector and, in terms of pay and conditions, the public sector gets a better deal.
Formal payscales - annual increments - annual pay rises - they're all part and parcel of working for state schools.
In private schools, particularly in these credit crunch times, our Bursars govern their fee income with a rod of iron. Spending does not come easily on anything unless it's to impress prospective parents!
I went 3 years here before I got a pay rise.
15th June 2010, 11:50 AM #13
This is not quite true.
Originally Posted by AyatollahPies
Though with some fields it is hard to actually find a private equivalent, private earn a lot more than public sector.
My dad works for local government, after he was made redundant. He took a 15,000 paycut, doing the same work.
Myself, I can earn 2-5,000 more by working on a helpdesk doing nothing but answer phone calls all day. I know this, because I was OFFERED the job, only to be turned it down when the manager got my CV, as I had TOO MUCH experience. He wanted someone who would be willing to work for a few years, and decided i was overqualified, and likely to get bored within 3-6 months.
Private sector wise, I could earn the best part of 8-10k more than I earn now, even working within education (such as for a support company) than I do now, for literally the same job.
A teacher working for a private school will earn considerably more than they will working for a public state school as well.
15th June 2010, 11:52 AM #14
I would disagree with the on par or better, but the margin is getting smaller. Just look at IT recruitment websites and you can still see a 5-7k difference in some roles. But that maybe down to the individual company wanting to take someone on and look to retain rather than keep having to re advertise and re interview at extra cost when people take flight
Originally Posted by AyatollahPies
15th June 2010, 11:52 AM #15
The difference is, I work in a school, they will always need IT support of some sort. Working for any other company, there is no guarantee how long till they win/lose business, or decide to move or downsize, plus a lot have pensions tied to investment schemes, so you are taking a gamble. I have family who have lost tens of thousands of pounds in invested money into these pensions.
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