IFS Press Releases

Latest public pension reforms unlikely to save money over longer term; four-year pay squeeze returns public-private differential to pre-recession level

Date: 31 January 2012
Authors:

These are two headline findings from an in-depth analysis of this government's public pensions and pay policies done by IFS researchers in preparation for the launch of the annual IFS Green Budget on Wednesday 1 February.

The pension reforms just negotiated will make little or no difference to the long-term costs of public service pensions. The savings from higher pension ages are, on average, offset by other elements of the pensions becoming more generous. The current pay freeze and additional two years of one per cent increases will leave public pay at roughly the same level relative to private pay as it was in 2008.

A common element to both is the relative protection of lower earners - a group which tends to do better in terms of both pay and pensions in the public sector than in the private sector.