Journal Article

What is a public sector pension worth?

Date: 30 November 2009
Publisher: Royal Economic Society
Published in: The Economic Journal , Vol. 119, No. 541

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.