Pensions gap between bosses and staff widens

Executive pensions are averaging £300,000 more than last year and the gap between the size of their pensions and those of other staff has widened.

The average executive can retire at 60 on a final salary pension worth more than £3m, an amount which has risen by £300,000 in a year, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) annual TUC PensionsWatch survey based on figures from the annual reports of more than 102 top performing companies. This sum is sufficient to provide a pension of £193,000 a year, which is more than 25 times the average occupational pension of £7,500 a year and an increase of 15% in a year.

For directors with the biggest pension in each company, the average pension is worth £5.3m, up £400,000 in a year. This is enough to pay out a pension of £320,000, which is over 42 times more than most staff pensions and is an increase of 10% since last year.

The survey’s biggest final salary pension pot was recorded at more than £21m which is £2m more than the biggest last year and would pay the director more than £1m a year.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Britain’s boardroom bonanza does not stop on retirement. Too many top directors have gone on closing or cutting schemes for their workforce, while keeping gold-plated pensions for themselves.

“Even if top directors were in the same scheme as their workforce they would still get big pensions because their pay is so much greater than those of the staff they employ. But this is not enough for many top bosses; they need to have a guaranteed extra on top.”