Embargoed: 00:01 Saturday 27th August 2022
New research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed that 38 top civil servants enjoy pension pots worth more than £1 million. In the first year of the covid pandemic, 187 of the most senior civil servants had a cumulative pension pot of £123 million, worth an average of £657,128 each. This was equivalent to the annual state pension for around 13,464 pensioners.
Of the top officials, 38 were worth more than £1 million, with former Foreign Office mandarin Lord McDonald enjoying the largest pot valued at a whopping £2.2 million. Also of the Foreign Office, Sir Philip Barton saw the largest increase in the value of his pension pot, growing by £321,000 to £1.7 million.
Controversial cabinet secretary Simon Case had a pension pot of £450,000 in 2020-21, while HM Treasury boss Tom Scholar had a pot of £1,411,000. Ministry of Justice permanent secretary Antonia Romeo, who is tipped for a senior role in a new government under Liz Truss, enjoyed a pot valued at £745,000.
Former head of the civil service, Lord Sedwill, had a pension pot equivalent to £102,500 per year in retirement, which was over three times the average UK salary.
Senior civil servants already earn top salaries and these pension pots are well beyond the reach of most of the taxpayers who are paying for them. The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on the new government to crack down on overgenerous pension arrangements in the public sector.
- During 2020-21, 187 of the most senior civil servants had a cumulative pension pot of £122.9 million. This is an average pension pot of £657,128 in 2020-21. Of these, 38 civil servants’ pension pots are worth more than £1 million.
- In 2020-21, the civil servant with the largest pension pot was Lord McDonald, permanent secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. His pension pot was valued at £2,242,000.
- Excluding those who have since left, the civil servant with the largest pension pot was Sir Philip Barton, permanent under-secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. His pension pot was valued at £1,690,000.
- During 2020-21, the mandarin with the largest annual pension was Lord Sedwill, whose pension pot was the equivalent of £102,500 per year in retirement. This is over three times the median annual pay for full-time workers in the UK in 2021 (£31,285). The average pension for departmental heads upon retirement was equivalent to £39,904 per annum.
- 94 of the civil servants will earn a lump sum upon retirement. The average lump sum was £99,894 in 2020-21.
- A further five mandarins were entitled to annual pensions of between £80,000 and £95,000 per year. These are permanent secretaries Matthew Rycroft, Tamara Finkelstein, Christopher Wormald and Simon McDonald, and first parliamentary counsel Elizabeth Gardiner.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
“Working taxpayers and pensioners feeling the pinch will be shocked at the extent of these million pound pension pots.
“Senior civil servants enjoy unfunded retirement packages that dwarf the deals for most private sector workers, despite the taxpayers who pay for them seeing their own savings squeezed.
“Politicians need to put an end to the Whitehall retirement racket and crack down on overgenerous pension arrangements in the public sector.”
TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Investigations Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Notes to editors:
Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.
- The TaxPayers’ Alliance previously found 13 individuals who run UK government departments had pension pots worth more than £1 million.