Record numbers retire on £1 million NHS pension pots

    • 8,500 retired NHS staff have retirement benefits worth £1 million


  • Total bill of £8.5 billion


The bill for public sector pensions is of growing concern for taxpayers facing huge bills for underfunded and over-generous pensions. In December 2007, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) revealed that there are almost 3,700 retired civil servants with retirement benefits worth £1 million. In the second paper of our public sector pensions series, we look at the generosity of pension arrangements in the NHS in England and Wales.


Using information obtained from the NHS Business Services Authority Pensions Division, TPA researchers have calculated the extent of the taxpayers' pension commitments. The findings are shocking:


    • There are almost 8,500 retired NHS employees (including GPs) in England and Wales with retirement benefits worth £1 million.


  • The total value of these retirement benefits is almost £8.5 billion (up to £337 per household)


Download £1 Million NHS pensions (PDF)


Corin Taylor, Research Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

"Unfunded public sector pension liabilities are reaching completely unsustainable levels. Every household will have to pay up to £40,000 over the next few decades to fund gold-plated retirement benefits for public sector employees, including £1 million pension pots for the NHS elite. Urgent change is needed to reduce the bill to taxpayers – for a start, the pension age for existing public sector employees should be raised to the state pension age as soon as possible.”

The figures, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request, have been scrutinised and approved by Terry Arthur, Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute.

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