Pouring_champagne

NHS pensions riding off with our cash

One of my first posts on this site was about an article in the Daily Mail which aimed to expose the excessive pay and pensions of some NHS executives. Taking my cue from that piece I fired in a Freedom of Information Act request to the NHS body that oversees their pensions seeking to find out how many retired workers were sitting pretty on pensions of more than £50,000-per-year or £100,000-per-year.

The response that I got [FoI Reply] showed there were dozens in that rather fortunate income bracket and the numbers were galloping ahead as, I presume, more and more highly paid NHS execs opt for a life on the golf course and in the garden as opposed to behind the desk dealing with pesky patients.

I know there are many people who will come to the aid of NHS workers saying they deserve their pensions, they have worked hard, they don’t get very good salaries working in the public sector. To a certain extent I can agree with that. Nurses, cleaners, porters, lab technicians are all poorly paid, work long unforgiving hours and get little thanks. However, these people never earned £50,000 or more and will have pensions that are just a fraction of that figure.

The real issue is with the back-slapping managers who can award themselves huge increases and one-off payments into their fictional pension pots knowing it will not be their NHS trust that will be picking up the tab for it – but it will be divided between NHS Trusts all around the country for years to come.

For those people, like me, who pay into a private pension, the largesse of the public schemes seems unbelievable. Even a £50,000-per-year pension bought in the private sector would cost £1.5million, which a person in the private sector might have to tuck away £4,000 every month for the entirety of a 30-year career. Is it any wonder that the public sector take stick for the generosity of their pension schemes?

The money that will pay these NHS pensions has not been saved and invested but is taken out of front line NHS money every year. So the NHS budget first has to keep retired NHS executives in gourmet gins and foreign cruises before it can concentrate on paying for care. Of course the irony is the only way this pension bill will be reduced is if the retired managers die – when the NHS saves their lives, as it will inevitably do, it condemns itself to paying out yet more money.

NHS pension1

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