Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 1979

Bosses retire at 60, so why can’t we

This article is over 16 years, 7 months old
There is a war against our pensions.
Issue 1979

There is a war against our pensions.

The pensions commission headed by former top boss Lord Adair Turner says we all have to work to 67 before we get a state pension.

And the government is threatening to renege on the deal it agreed just a few weeks ago with public sector workers because it’s “too generous”.

Whatever their differences, bosses and politicians are agreed that we have to work longer and pay more into our own pensions. On 1 November John Sunderland, the president of the CBI bosses’ organisation, wrote to the government savaging ministers for allowing present public sector workers to retire at 60.

“A ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude in our society is precisely what the country does not need,” he wrote.

Sunderland (annual income £2,291,000 as head of Cadbury Schweppes) has amassed a pension pot of £14 million. If he retires at 60 he will collect £5,000 a week pension. He is far from alone.

Directors of Britain’s 100 most important companies have amassed pensions worth a total of £1 billion which, on average, would pay out £167,000 a year if claimed now.

This is over 26 times the national average of £129 a week and over 30 times the average public sector pension.

And they don’t wait until 65, let alone 67 to grab their loot. The annual reports of the top 50 British companies show that of the 54 directors mentioned, just one has to wait to 65 to get their money while 46 retire at 60 on a full pension.

Meanwhile MPs and cabinet ministers can retire on two thirds of their final salary after 27 year service.

We need a tide of resistance to improve pensions for all of us.

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