UK

Public sector pensions: Your comments

Hospital nurses
Image caption Most public sector workers will see their retirement age linked to the state pension age in the future

Ministers say plans for public sector pensions will ensure they are "fair and affordable", but unions have accused them of sabotaging negotiations.

Treasury minister Danny Alexander will confirm the public sector retirement age will be linked to the state pension age, which is due to rise to 66.

BBC News website readers have been getting in touch with their reaction to the changes.

Donford Vardon, public sector worker, London

This government is behaving in this way because they have absolutely no idea about the public sector.

We are currently facing a three year pay freeze, and a 1% reduction in wages, with a possible further 5-10% wage cut next year.

Despite this, inflation seems to be soaring across the board. Danny Alexander has also fooled the press in stating that staff who earn under £15,000 per year have been protected from these cuts. It is a totally untrue statement.

Furthermore, the previous government promised that this group of staff would receive a £250 increase in salary last year. This was subsequently shelved by the current government.

This coalition government does not have the mandate to carry out such savage cuts to our lifestyle. We have lost in excess of 25% of staff in the organisation over the past two years and the remaining staff have got to work 25% harder to earn less than what they were earning three years ago.

This comes with ever increasing productivity increases being demanded of staff via more intense monitoring and performance targets.

The public sector workers are rightfully angry that they are seen as a soft target for this unelected government to go to war with them.

I am 51 and will have to work to the age of 66 to earn what my pension was when I was 45.

I do not have a problem with working until I am 66 but paying an increase in pension for a lesser return is not right. The way things are at the moment, people are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

Sharon Davis, NHS worker, Yorkshire

I am a 53 year old physiotherapist who was hoping to retire at 60. I have had a previous break in NHS employment to bring up my children.

My pension contributions have been mostly part-time, hence my projected pension is quite modest even as it stands today without changes. This is probably a case for many NHS employees.

The job we do can be very physically and mentally demanding at times, not to mention stressful.

I cannot see me managing to do my job until I am 66. I suppose that if I find I am unable to continue working until then, I may end up on sickness benefit.

Is this a well thought out process or is it simply attacking those who are easiest to attack?

What happens at the other end of the spectrum with the newcomers to the profession.

There are not enough jobs for physiotherapists today and with all the efficiency savings in the NHS seems unlikely to improve.

I believe this is ill-considered with once again a failure to consider the whole picture or the effect.

This will have a more detrimental effect on part-time female workers who have already taken a cut in their incomes to bring up children.

I am a member of the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy). They are not strong advocates for strike action but have recently marched against NHS reform.

I personally would be prepared to strike over this but this may not be backed by the CSP or the majority of CSP members. I would only strike if the CSP supported strike action, which is unlikely.

Chris, PE teacher

Under these proposals I will be expected to teach PE to children until I'm 66 with the real possibility of being 68 by the time I retire. Does anyone think this is possible or even right?

Teachers who have been working from their mid 20's are burnt out at that age and can't give the same enthusiasm or energy to the job as is required.

Do we want people over the age of 65 trying to teach children practical subjects?

Also this is another expense I will be paying out for, on top of my student debt repayments and inflation increasing whilst having a pay freeze.

Something has got to give.

John, civil servant, Kent

As a serving civil servant who entered the public sector over a decade ago from the private sector I do feel very angry about this change. The private sector moan about our pensions but they do get better bonuses and salary overall. I know as I used to work in the private sector.

I am a manager and have never been on strike before, but I will over this change.

I agree in an increase in contributions but disagree in changing the calculations and the age.

This is a false economy, the public sector runs on goodwill, the work is never fully credited as it should be. We change peoples lives for the better.

I have chosen to say in the civil service and accepted lower pay and less perks in exchange for a decent pension and job security.

I don't have separate pension and now I will have to consider taking out an additional plan.

Everyone is angry across the board from middle management to junior members of staff. We understood there would be changes but this is a step too far. The public sector will lose talent. People will leave. I am considering it.

Why should I work an extra six years and settle for less. I can take my abilities elsewhere.

As a Conservative voter all my life, I would not vote for them again if they push these changes through.

Sarah Williams, Kent, private sector worker

I received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions a couple of years ago advising me that I will be at least 67 years old before I will be entitled to draw my state pension.

When I started work at the age of 16 years old, some 29 years ago, I was under the impression that I would be able to draw my state pension at the age of 60.

Yes, I'm pretty miffed about it, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

What I can do is to increase my contributions into my private pension fund out of my current disposable income. Yes, that's right, I'm not a public sector employee, I'm a private sector employee.

I don't get the automatic entitlement to a pension, private health care or concessionary this, that or the other. In case the unions have missed it, this country has been going through one of the worst recessions in history.

I work as a company director and it's been a real struggle to keep staff employed. We've been urged to cutback so I find it particularly upsetting when those in the insulated public sector moan about their pay and conditions.

When are they going to wake up and smell the coffee. There is no money left.

James, paramedic, Lincolnshire

I am a serving paramedic with an NHS Ambulance service, my job is both physically and mentally demanding. The job has gotten a lot harder and more stressful.

We are now pushed to deliver more care at home with little extra training, this is to save costly admissions to hospital. We treat far more patients than ever before with no almost no extra resources.

I do not know of any paramedic or other frontline ambulance staff that has made it to 60 years old in the job, never mind 65. I took a large pay cut from working in the private sector to come to the ambulance service and that was ok, the job is worth it.

If I make it to 55 in the service, which would be rare, and took my pension after more than 34 years of contributions, my pension would be worth £8,958 a year. With the new pension scheme I will pay more in and get even less.

I already know I will have to take another job when my ambulance career is over. I just hope I don't live long enough to regret making the best decision of my life to leave a well-paid private job to make a truly positive impact for the people who I serve.

Those that do stay in the ambulance service until they are 60, move away from the heavy demands of frontline service and do jobs like hospital bus work, which means a pay decrease. Others leave and get jobs in a supermarket.

Having to work longer is our biggest concern. I don't hear complaints about salary or increase in pension contributions. It is the fact that we will be expected to work longer which is an issue.

Steve Kilroy, private sector worker, Nottingham

I work in the private sector and don't see why public sector workers should benefit over me. I have to perform everyday, bringing money into the company to keep it going.

We have to constantly evolve, and if we don't we all lose our jobs.

Public sector workers are pretty much guaranteed a job for life, if you don't perform well, it does not matter - and the money will always be there from the tax-payer.

I have been paying about 8% of my own wages into a pension for 10 years, since the age of 23. I can only retire on that pension at 65.

So why on earth should public sector workers be any different? The tax payer contributes to public sector pensions, my contributions come from my own wages.

Public sector workers simply don't live in the real world - and just because you don't get it your way you go on strike. Come on!

If I went on strike, the UK business for me would die overnight.

My team and I would be out of jobs in a week.

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