Town Hall pensions cost you £9million

ASTONISHING figures have revealed that every person in the district paid £47 towards North Somerset Council staff pensions last year.

ASTONISHING figures have revealed that every person in the district paid £47 towards North Somerset Council staff pensions last year.

More than 5,600 council employees, who can retire as early as 50 years old, receive 'gold-plated' final salary pensions.

Research by campaign group The Taxpayers' Alliance shows that last year the authority paid almost £9.5million pounds to staff in pension contributions, and other retirement benefits.

This figure represents more than 10 per cent of its annual council tax revenue for 2006/7, which was £93.6million.


You may also want to watch:


According to a Taxpayers' Alliance report, entitled Council Spending Uncovered, North Somerset's pension contributions cost each person, of all age groups in the district, £47 last year.

Alliance chairman Andrew Allum said: "It is unacceptable that ordinary families and pensioners who struggle to pay inflated council tax bills see so much of their money spent on gold-plated council pensions that have all but disappeared in the wider economy."

Most Read

Bristol-based financial adviser, Hargreaves Lansdown, has condemned the findings. Its head of pension research, Tom McPhail, said: "Most council taxpayers don't enjoy the luxury of a final salary pension.

"So why should they pay through the nose for someone else to enjoy this hugely expensive perk?"

The Avon Pension Fund runs the Local Government Pension Scheme which pays council employees' retirement benefits.

The normal retirement age for the Local Government Pension Scheme is 65.

However, if there is no additional strain on the pension fund, members can retire without employer' consent from the age of 60 and if they get the nod from their superiors at 50 years old.

Figures for North Somerset Council cover pension contributions to local government employees, teachers and firefighters.

Council tax is not the sole source of council income and is not earmarked to pay for pensions, but it is the most visible form of taxation to fund local government, according to the campaign group.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus