The Times today (no link available) reports on the independent Hutton commission interim report on public sector pensions.As in the UK,this pensions costs issue should be prioritised by the Irish government as it plans the austerity programme,otherwise continuing with gold plated pensions for high earners in the public sector will look like looting of the average taxpayer.

Quote:

From the editorial "Defined Benefits":

"Estimates of unfunded pension promises made by the State stand at around 1 trillion [about 65,000 per family of four].

"...which Lord Hutton is right to stress in his interim findings,are to raise the retirement age,abolish final salary schemes and increase employee contributions."

From page 12 article:

"Skilled staff ready to leave public sector over pension reform"

"He [Hutton] recommended that the pension age for six million public sector staff -currently ranging from 50 to 65-should reflect increasing life expectancy and that those on the highest salaries should bear the brunt of the changes."

"Nearly 35,000 workers get pensions payments of more than 37,000...the average public sector pension is less than 6,000 a year."

From the charts on life expectancy for public sector pensioners age 60,for males and females the range is from 88 to 92 years of age.

From page 13, Patrick Hosking

"One answer,he [Hutton] says,could be to switch from final-salary schemes to average-salary schemes,as pioneered by Britain's biggest supermarket company [Tesco]...it also stops high-fliers and those receiving big promotions in their 40s and 50s gaining a disproportionate share."