Insider trading - A two-tier pension system

ONE of the greatest impediment to pension reform is that the advantageous situation enjoyed by public servants could not survive any review designed to introduce fairness.

The revelation that public servants can dodge rules that defer the payment of the state pension just confirms that we have a two-tier system.

The rule, naturally, applies to all private-sector workers.

The state contributory pension is not paid until a recipient reaches 66, which means that those who are compelled to quit work when they reach 65 have to claim jobseekers’ benefit — worth almost €50 a week less than the pension.

However, in another example of the insider trading that bedevils this country, public servants now get a “supplementary pension” before they can qualify for the state contributory pension, at 66.

Effectively, public servants have insulated themselves from the decision to raise the age at which the state pension is paid.

It is long past time we had a pensions minister to confront this apartheid.

That we do not just shows how tightly our Sir Humphreys hold the reins of power.


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