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‘Cap civil service scheme to boost state benefits’

Public sector employees should give up some of their benefits to pay for proper state pensions, says Pointon York chairman Geoffrey Pointon.

He told a debate on pension provision hosted by Pointon York that public sector pensions are too generous.

He said: “Public service employees should give up their future accrual on final-salary indexed benefits to pay for the proper benefits of old age pensioners. That could be a Conservative policy.

“I propose that we immediately cancel the public service sector’s final-salary accrual and switch those resources forthwith away from pension credits and into a proper pension scheme for the old in the country.”

National Association of Pension Funds chairman and Pinsent Mansions senior partner Robin Ellison argued that the public sector is already being hit by the move to career-average pensions. He said: “What we should really be worrying about is that the private sector has been so messed about that it is not free to do the same thing as the public sector is.

“The difficulty is that those employers who want to have some kind of defined-benefit system are to all intents and purposes being precluded from that because the regulatory framework is very antipathetic. That is a tragedy and we do not solve one tragedy by creating another.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning managing director Robert Reid said: “We do not have a level playing field. If you could run a final-salary scheme in the private sector with the same latitude that you can run a civil service scheme, you would not have the problem that you have got.”

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