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TUC hits out at public sector pension ‘myths’

TUC hits out at public sector pension ‘myths’

Category: Pensions

Updated: 30/07/2009
First Published: 30/07/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Claims made by business groups and politicians that public sector pensions are unaffordable and out of control have been dubbed 'myths' and 'scaremongering' by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The body says that critics of public sector pensions are guilty of misrepresenting figures, presenting a bill that is to be paid over a concerted period as having to be paid in one go.

The truth, it claims, is that the real cost on the economy is around 1.5 per cent of GDP, which will slowly rise to two per cent in the next 20 years before falling slightly.

The group has also argued that the cost of public sector pensions is less than the state pension and long term care, which is likely to increase as the average age of the UK continues to grow.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "Many private sector employers have cut or abandoned decent pensions for their staff. The result is that many people at work today will face a big drop in their living standards when they retire.

"Now employer groups and opposition politicians are saying that public sector pensions should be levelled down so that Britain's nurses, teachers and other vital public sector staff should face the same hardship when they retire."

The perception that fat-cat pensions are prevalent in the sector is a myth, the TUC insists, with top public servants on the same pension scheme as other staff, and the majority of public sector pensioners receiving a modest sum of less than £5,000 a year

"Each day seems to bring new dodgy statistics and scaremongering about the cost of public sector pensions, along with bogus claims that there are easy public spending cuts to be had," Mr. Barber added.

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