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What is a public sector pension worth?

Richard Disney, Carl Emmerson and Gemma Tetlow
Journal article | The Economic Journal

We measure accruals in defined benefit (DB) pension plans for public and private sector workers in Britain, using typical differences in scheme rules and sector-specific lifetime age-wage profiles by sex and educational group. We show not just that coverage by DB pension plans is greater in the public sector but that median pension accruals as a percentage of salary are more than 6% higher among DB-covered public sector workers than covered private sector workers. This is largely driven by earlier normal pension (retirement) ages but also by differences in earnings profiles across the sectors.