UK - Public sector pensions are still more valuable than most private sector pensions even after government reforms, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) says.
PPI director Niki Cleal said: "Even after the government's reforms, there are still significant differences between pensions in the public and private sectors.
"It is often assumed that better pensions in the public sector make up for lower pay. Although a job-for-job type comparison of pay is difficult to make between the sectors, the evidence suggests the picture is more complex than this."
Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Brendan Barber said the report was a useful contribution to the debate on occupational pensions but said the "small but increasingly vocal group, who take every opportunity to attack public sector pensions" were bound to "selectively quote and misuse its findings".
He said: "[This small but increasingly vocal group] will continue to ignore the vast costs to the taxpayer of paying means tested pensions benefits to pensioners who worked for employers that failed to provide any pension."
Barber claimed public sector pension critics were inconsistent and said they could not logically attack the government for the decline of quality private sector pensions, while at the same time criticise them for preserving decent public pensions.
He added: "The problem is not fair and proper public sector pensions, but the retreat by private sector employers from their responsibilities. The solution is to level-up, not strip away pensions from vital public servants."
However, HamishWilson partner Hamish Wilson noted that the generosity of the public sector pension arrangements were not totally visible.
"It is not on the UK balance sheet at the moment so nobody can see just how much it is costing and there is a real issue about transparency," he said.
Former Downing Street adviser Ros Altmann agreed and said the nation had to understand the extent of the costs involved by the government promising public sector workers these pension arrangements.
She said: "Public sector worker pensions can never be cut. If there is a real problem with costs in the future and taxpayers can't afford everything the government has committed to, the government could cut the state pension for everyone else immediately, but it can never cut the public sector occupational pensions."
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