Workers count the cost of change

FROM the lowest-paid public sector employee, to the well remunerated council chief executive, public sector pensions are due to change. Here, we look at some examples of workers paying into state-funded schemes.

Council chief executive

Retirement salary: 155,000

Annual pension: 85,000 a year, plus lump sum of 77,500

When Tom Aitchison, the current chief executive of Edinburgh City Council, retires at the end of this year, he will receive a pension of 85,000 a year. The timing of his departure means he will still receive a one off payment of 15,000 for organising the Lothians' General Election counts, which gives his pension a final boost.


Salary: 32,000 average

Annual pension: 10,000 a year for the average UK teacher, plus lump sum

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The average teacher puts 6.4 per cent of their salary into a pension. "I've got a baby on the way and it has really made me think that I am going to have to pay into a private pension as well," says one teacher. "I didn't go into the professions because of the benefits of the pension scheme, but it was a bonus. These changes would be quite a problem for some people."


Salary: 31,000 (Band 6)

Annual pension:

8,900 (average)

Our nurse has already paid 13 years of contributions and expects to work for another 28 years. But she says her most recent pension analysis shows that even if she continues to be employed by the NHS for that time, she will retire on just 8,900 a year. "I was headhunted not so long ago for a private sector job and one of the reasons I didn't go was because of my NHS pension," he said. "I wouldn't strike over pay, but I would strike over pension cuts. Nurses are being told that we are a pension burden. This at a time when we are already being asked to do more with less."


Salary: 21,000 (average)

Annual pension:

14,000 (average)

Police officers who started work before 2006 are entitled to retire on an inflation-linked pension worth two-thirds of their final salary after 30 years of service. They typically contribute 11 per cent of their annual salary into their pension, but the bulk of the pension is funded by the employer.

Council worker

Salary: 22,000

Annual pension: 6,200 (average)

The civil service pension scheme has four sections, some of which are final salary schemes closed to new staff for a number of years. Nuvos, a "career average" scheme with a normal retirement age of 65, has been the scheme offered to new joiners since July 2007.