As we know, our pension obligations for the future look set to bankrupt the state. We've hundreds of thousands set to get a pension based on their earnings at the time of retirement, guaranteed until the day they die. God only knows where this money will come from. We're not alone in this - many states have this (defined benefit) scheme in place, and a lot of anxiety in private about how to fund it. However, we've gone and blown the money we had set aside for the rainy day on propping up insolvent banks.
But what if we switched over to a defined contribution* scheme for new entrants to the public service? Our long-term debt would almost instantly be worth a lot more than it currently is, making our borrowing cheaper. We'd also be able to increase productive public sector employment in the future without adding to the black hole in our pension reserves.
The public sector unions would of course hop on it from a great height and make all kinds of noise, but that doesn't neccessarily make it a bad idea. Also, I think hostility to the PS unions is higher than its ever been. A measure that saves future generations billions without damaging the level of service we receive is an easy thing politically to sell.
Am I missing something? Otherwise, why are no mainstream politicians arguing for this?
* This is where the annuity (the income a person earns from retirement until death) is based on the contributions a person and his/her employer makes to a pension fund, rather than being set at a guaranteed level as is currently this case.