What does a politician's pension look like?

By / 15 Aug 2016

15
Aug 2016

What does a politician's pension look like?

Politicians like to tell us voters they’re ‘just like us’ and whilst some might still cycle to work…

Dance like our dads…

And be equally as error-prone…

One way in which we clearly diverge is in terms of our pay packets. According to the official parliament website Theresa May can expect to earn £143,462 per year, meaning that she takes home more money than 90% of Brits. Meanwhile her Cabinet Ministers earn £135,527 per year, with the rest of parliament picking up £74,962 each.

Even though they come with the risk of regular eggings, these are undoubtedly attractive salaries. But the financial benefits don’t just end there - Corbyn and co get pensions, too. Like millions of savers, MPs are putting cash away for their retirement, but what exactly do their parliamentary pots look like?

Defined benefit beneficiaries

MPs save into the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund. A defined benefit pension scheme, it pays out based on final earnings at retirement, and the number of years MPs have been a member of the fund.

Nowadays, these defined benefit schemes are a bit of dying breed. The bulk of Brits now pay into defined contribution schemes, as put simply many employers can’t (or just aren’t willing) to foot the bill for defined benefit pensions. They guarantee a retirement income and bring a little more saving certainty, and they can also prove pretty lucrative - especially if you’re a politician…

18,500 reasons to become an MP?

Some digging by the Daily Mail suggests that ten years’ service (around the average tenure) could entitle an MP to £18,500 a year in retirement - a pretty impressive pension by today’s standards.

To put things into context, only by saving a staggering £300,000 into your pension could you expect to generate a similar income, given current annuity rates on the market. And barely anyone has that much saved. It’s estimated the average pension pot for a 55-70 year old only sits at £85,000*.

It’s probably a bit unfair to compare them to us average Joes though, so how do they match up to other aspects of the establishment?

Time for a career change?

One good thing about the credit crunch was that it shone a light on the secretive world of high finance, specifically on bank chiefs’ astonishing pay. At the time of his sacking, former RBS boss Fred Goodwin was due to a receive pension of £703,000 per year, before he was finally forced to accept the more modest sum of £342,500.

In the media industry the Mail’s Paul Dacre is the best paid pensioner, with his gold-plated pension worth around £650,000 per year. Thankfully though you’ll be glad to know the church is a little more frugal - the Archbishop of Canterbury apparently only gets around £21,000 - £28,000 per annum.

Perhaps politicians aren’t so bad after all…

Sources

*http://www.plsa.co.uk/PolicyandResearch/DocumentLibrary/0564-Pension-Freedoms-no-more-normal.aspx

Mark James

by Mark James

Content and Communications Manager

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