Naomi, the GMB's pensions supremo(!), has produced this rather good list of points of why public sector pensions do not eat babies....
Public Sector Pensions – The Source of All Known Ills
“Oh no they’re not” I hear at least half of you cry as everyone gets ready for panto season. You’d be right of course, but in light of the hideously one-sided press coverage of the issue here are ten facts you won’t have read about in the press:
1. Public sector pensions potentially keep 12million people from reliance on state benefits in retirement.
2. Public sector pension schemes, in particular the funded Local Government Pension Scheme, generate billions of pounds worth of investment in the UK economy.
3. Public sector pension schemes encourage retirement saving among 5.75m public sector workers – 85% of public sector workers are members of a pension scheme (compared with 40% in the private sector).
4. Lack of retirement saving in the private sector will lead to more poverty and significant pressure on state benefits in the future.
5. Greater poverty in retirement resulting from inadequate company pension provision in the private sector will lead to greater pressures on the NHS and local care services.
6. All workers pay for everyone’s retirement income. The price of goods and services includes the cost of private sector pension provision, just like tax levels include the cost of public sector pension provision.
7. State benefits are funded by national insurance and taxation paid by everyone and used more by those with lower incomes e.g. those with inadequate pension savings due to poor private sector provision.
8. Public sector pensions account for about 20% of public sector workers’ remuneration packages.
9. Public sector pension schemes are good quality and rightly so, the country needs private sector schemes to be as good. Lower pensions for all means poverty in old age for all.
10. ‘Apartheid’ was the official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against non-whites; it is not an appropriate description of occupational pension provision.