Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

National Audit Office on public sector pensions

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The National Audit Office has published the first of two reports on the cost of public sector pensions. The reports are expressly designed to inform the debate about the affordability of public sector schemes, in particular that of ‘unfunded’ schemes (i.e. those which do not invest in assets but where pensions are funded on a pay-as-you-go basis out of employee, employer and Treasury contributions), the four largest in particular. The second report is due out later this year. Given the political discourse over the future of the public sector based as it is on cuts, the report is clearly timely.

Nigel Stanley over at ToUChstone has already produced some well-cast nuggets from the NAO report, while the TUC has also issued some well-chosen words in a press release, and I don’t want simply to go over the same ground. The NAO report has not been specifically designed to debunk any of the prevailing myths about public sector pensions (the TUC has already done so, as has the GMB) and its views provide an impartial commentary on the state of affairs. I do, however, want specifically to note the contribution of the NAO report in helping to ensure that the continuing debate over public sector pensions is rooted not in misinformed prejudice about so-called ‘gold-plated’ public sector pensions (bearing in mind that the median public sector pension in payment is less than £5,000) but in what is actually happening in the real world.


Written by Calvin

12/03/2010 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Pensions, Politics

Tagged with ,

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