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CBI calls for examination of cost of public sector-pensions

David Woods , 15 Dec 2008

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The Government must come clean about the spiralling cost of public-sector pensions by launching an independent commission to examine public-sector pension finances, according to the CBI.

The organisation has called for "much needed reform" of public-sector pensions, which have no pensions pots like the private sector, and recommends the working lives of public-sector employees should be extended past 65 in line with the private-sector retirement age.

The private sector has been forced in recent years to remove defined-benefit pensions such as the final-salary schemes common in the public sector, replacing them with defined-contribution schemes incorporating increased employee contributions.

It is estimated the liabilities for public-sector pensions stand at £915 billion.

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: "Public-sector workers should have a good retirement, but we need to talk openly about how we split the bill. The debt being racked up is truly eye-watering and is set to get much worse.

"Taxpayers who are struggling to build their own personal pension will be lumbered for decades by the cost of covering public-sector workers who retire years earlier on risk-free pensions."

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