Mandarins' pension pots

The senior civil servants who lead Whitehall government departments have some of the best remuneration packages in the public sector, with a £20 million pension pot between them.

Whilst their pension pots have been accumulated over many years of service, the overall benefits are significantly more generous than most in the private sector.

Recently, the TaxPayers’ Alliance showed that new civil servants are in a particularly favourable position compared to those in the private sector. Based on the current scheme, the average pension at retirement will be almost three times greater than an equivalent in the private sector.

Regular promotion, salary rises and job security should be recompense enough for a life in the civil service. At the very least, all new civil servants should join on the basis of a defined contribution pension, and be funded, rather than unfunded. Unfunded pension schemes do not have assets set aside to cover the costs of employee benefits, and instead rely on future taxation.

Click here to read the research paper


Key findings

  • The 22 individuals who run UK government departments have an average pension pot of £907,273.

  • The mandarin with the largest pension pot was Sir Simon McDonald, head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His pension pot is currently valued at £1,858,000.

  • The average pension upon retirement will be £50,909.

  • 14 of the departmental heads will receive a lump sum upon retirement. The average value of this is £148,929.

  • The mandarin with the largest annual pension will be Sir Simon McDonald. He will have a pension of at least £80,000 to £85,000 a year.