Unions accuse Cabinet of hypocrisy after investigating their pension pot

By Ian Dunt

Unions negotiating public sector pensions with the government have branded ministers hypocrites after calculating their pension plans.

Unite said chancellor George Osborne would need to work for just 18 months to win the typical public sector pension of £5,600 in retirement.

Looking at the government negotiating team, Unite found an average public sector worker would need to work for three working lifetimes to earn Francis Maude's pension and two for Danny Alexander's pension.

"Unite supports good pensions for all workers including MPs. What we don't support is a Cabinet of millionaires attacking the very modest pensions of the men and women who care for our sick, teach our children and keep our streets safe," said general secretary Len McCluskey.

"It's another example of how out-of-touch the government is. Ministers, who can retire on tens of thousands a year, are slashing the pensions of workers who stand to get a few thousand a year and then have the nerve to call them gold-plated."

The union said a local government worker would have to work 124 years to get a pension equal to what local government secretary Eric Pickles could retire on in 2015.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley's pension is almost ten times bigger than an average health worker.

The calculations are based on ministers' pension pots if they were to retire at the end of the current term of office in 2015.