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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pension Fat Cats

I see from the Herald that I and the STUC appear to have upset the Institute of Directors on pensions. The IoD are the 'Fat Cats' union and in response to their attacks on the pensions of low paid workers I said, “The Institute of Directors is simply anxious to keep its members’ incomes bloated at the expense of cuts for ordinary workers.”

 
This is apparently "deceitful". Well let's look at the facts. The TUC's latest survey looked at the pension arrangements of 329 directors at 102 top firms. It found that:
  • The average director's pension pot (transfer value) has risen by £400,000 in the past year to £3.8m.
  • The average accrued pension of nearly £228,000 is worth 26 times the average occupational pension of £8,736.
  • Most directors' pensions schemes build up pensions at least twice as fast as those of their staff - usually at a rate of 1/30th a year compared to 1/60th or 1/80th for ordinary staff.
  • Directors in defined contribution schemes received average contributions from their employers of £134,760 a year, worth 19% of their salaries - three times the average contribution rate made for employees.

As the TUC's General Secretary, Brendan Barber put it;

  
"Employers often tell us that decent staff pension schemes are no longer affordable. Directors' representatives are in the vanguard of those attacking public sector pensions. Yet greed is still good in the nation's top boardrooms, where directors continue to reward themselves with seven-figure pension pots."
 
Judge for yourself who is being deceitful here!

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