I work in the private sector, and even when I joined my firm 10 years ago the company’s final salary pension scheme was closed to new entrants and instead I have a defined contribution scheme. That means I am totally reliant on the stock market performing well over the next 30 years and not crashing just as I come up to retirement age as opposed to being guaranteed a percentage of my salary. Now when I look across to the public sector, and in particular teachers and police officers, they will retire with an equivalent pension pot of £400,000 on average. Only very few private sector workers will end up with a pension pot of that size and I am very unlikely to be one of them.
I, therefore, really cannot sympathise with public sector workers who demand they retire with a taxpayer-funded pension pot of £400,000. Why should I pay for that when my own pension will come nowhere near this amount when I retire?
The old argument is public sector workers are paid less. That may have been the case 20 years ago when having a much better pension was seen as compensation for a lower salary in the public sector but during the gravy train years of the Labour Government from 1997-2010 that argument was blown out of the water by the massive increases in public sector spending (mainly on wages) to the extent public sector pay is now higher (apart from senior management roles) than in the private sector. Now these workers want to have their cake and eat it. The party is over folks and you should get used to it!
So, fellow private sector workers, you are being paid the same or less than public sector workers with a smaller pension to boot but still you will have to pay for their better pension. That is pantently unfair and is why I hope the Government push through their reforms with haste. Frankly, I have yet to hear a convincing argument from the public sector unions to the contrary.