MONEY for pensions has to come from somewhere – it does not grow on trees.
Private sector pensions ultimately have to come from the profits such organisations generate and hence do not form a burden on the tax-payer.
Increasingly workers in the private sector have experienced great uncertainty about retirement income as employers close final salary schemes to new members and move to defined contribution pensions.
On the other hand, from whatever perspective one takes, the cost to every tax-payer of the public sector pensions debt is immense and shows no sign of decreasing.
This has been exacerbated by the great increase in the number of public sector workers during the time the Labour government was in power.
Furthermore a variety of differently structured public sector pension schemes exist (thus those for local government differ greatly from those for the National Health Service) which poses its own problem for governments wishing to rein back this expenditure – but find a solution they must.
One should also highlight the relative security of employment that public employees have over their private sector counterparts (note I said ‘relative’).
It is also somewhat easier for them to move from one part of the public sector to another and in doing so retain good pension rights.
Any pensions that private sector workers have usually suffer during a move from one employer to another.
Having worked in both the private and public sectors, it also seems clear to me that poor-performing staff are less likely to be sacked if they are in public rather than private-sector employment.
Much more likely they are moved to another part of the public sector, which may not be best for the employer or even employee.
Theatre Lane, Chichester