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The soaring costs of government pensions

How much society pays for pensions is  increasingly an intergenerational fairness issue, and this report updates our 2011 public sector pension report. It uses Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to quantify the number pension recipients receiving public sector pensions of more than £100,000 a year, over £50,000 a year, and pensions of more than the average annual wage in three big government pensions schemes – the National Health Service, the Civil Service and teachers.

The Intergenerational Foundation argues that these pensions are based on flawed assumptions made years ago about life expectancy, interest rates, contribution rates, and levels of pay, which successive governments, both left and right-leaning, have wilfully ignored. The paper explains that younger workers will not receive such generous pensions, yet they are expected to keep paying for these pensions while also having to contribute far more for their own old age.