Pension reform clearly needed
MANY will agree with David Catto (Letters, December 21) about devolving power to local communities, though no doubt practical difficulties and “the law of unintended consequences” would arise there too. Certainly there is some nostalgia for the “good old days” when St Andrews Town Council was in charge here.
His query concerning our tax going towards public pensions is valid. Fife Council’s pension deficit was £835 million last year.
The UK Local Government Pension Scheme is around £50 billion in deficit. Last year, Coventry’s Director of Resources estimated that more than one-third of all UK council tax will soon be spent purely on pensions.
Another expert analysis pointed out that, combining the state pension with their public sector pension, certain employees’ pensions will exceed their final salaries, in some cases by 55 per cent.
Clearly radical reform is needed, and was not helped by the Coalition Government’s cosmetic reforms to its own platinum-plated scheme, and abject failure to move equitably to money-purchase schemes throughout the public-sector, and to discourage private-sector final-salary schemes, while maintaining existing entitlements earned to date. As a nation we have lived on tick for too long, forcing our children and grandchildren (and probably theirs) to pay for much of our own pension funding, plus all of their own. John Birkett, 12 Horseleys Park, St Andrews.