Plenty in the trough
None of the 5m members of public sector schemes will be required to work beyond their current average retirement age of 60 because the new pension age of 65 will only apply to those who start work in future.
Some of those already on the public payroll will continue to enjoy retirement ages below 50, with tens of thousands going even earlier due to "bad backs or stress". More than two thirds of members of some public sector schemes retire early due to ill health, according to the Pensions Policy Institute.
Since The Daily Telegraph revealed in February that taxpayers will have to pay nearly £700 billion - or double the national debt - to provide pensions already promised to those on the public payroll, the Government has been under intense pressure to reach a compromise...
Sir Digby Jones, director-general of the CBI, said: "This is a bad deal for the taxpayer. The Government has capitulated to the threat of public sector strikes and conceded that 21-year-old civil servants can retire aged 60 in 2044. Lucky them, at a time when private sector employees face longer working lives.
"Before the election, the Government pledged to tackle public sector pension reform as a matter of priority - now it appears to be pushing it into the long grass under pressure from the unions. Who is running Britain - the Government or the unions?"
Actuaries - the mathematicians who advise pension funds - were scathing about the deal. Stewart Ritchie of the insurance giant Aegon said: "It is not sustainable in the long term to expect taxpayers to fund more generous pensions for public sector employees than they can possibly acquire themselves.
"Although there has been some tightening, the degree to which public sector workers have been able to take ill health early retirement has also been a scandal."
Similarly, Stephen Yeo of Watson Wyatt said: "You can perhaps understand why two thirds of firefighters need to retire early but it is less obvious why ill-health caused four in 10 local government scheme members to retire early. It will be many years before the agreement reached today reduces costs borne by taxpayers."
Compromise? - about as much of a compromise as my dog rolling over in return for a biscuit? Writing cheques for our children to honour was of course going to be the easy option, so that is why they took it. Of course you could sack them all and re-employ them on the new contract, or even not re-employ them at all....