Trade unions attack executive pension funds worth millions
Top bosses' pensions are set by committees of other people who are, or have been, top executives at big companies
The average director of a FTSE 100 company now has a pension pot worth £3.9m, the TUC's annual PensionsWatch survey will say today.
According to the survey – covering 362 directors of FTSE 100 companies in Britain – that would provide a pension of £224,121 compared with the average occupational pension of less than £10,000.
The survey also found that despite the wholesale closure of defined benefit pensions – which guarantee pay outs of a percentage of an employee's final salary – across British industry some 58 per cent of companies still provide these schemes to at least some of their directors.
More directors are being moved to defined contribution schemes – in which pensions are based on investment performance – but the PensionsWatch investigation has found that the average company contribution increased by £26,000 on last year to reach £161,149. For executives with the highest contribution in the company, the average company amount paid in is £211,859.
And the most common normal retirement age (NRA) is 60 for directors, with three times as many directors able to retire at 60 than 65. For most workers it is 65, and that is likely to rise.
The TUC will also angrily criticise the way top bosses' pensions are set by remuneration committees made up of other people who are, or have been, top executives at big companies.
Among the directors whose contracts were studied were John Varley, the former Barclays chief executive, who has the second biggest pension pot within the survey at £18.256m. He sits as chairman of the remuneration committee of AstraZeneca, the pharmaceuticals giant, whose chief executive David Brennan has the fourth biggest pension pot with £14.7m.
The figures are likely to provide further impetus to the debate in Britain over the widening gap between the haves and have nots, with a small elite at the top of business and the public sector able to command enormous pay and pension packages amounting to huge multiples of what the average worker enjoys.
The TUC's director-general Brendan Barber said the survey highlighted what he called "the real pensions scandal in Britain today".
"Public sector workers are rightly furious about being told that their pensions of just a few thousand pounds are 'gold-plated' and unaffordable by the same business leaders who stay silent on the multi-million pound pensions that many enjoy themselves," Mr Barber added.
AstraZeneca said: " David Brennan's accrued pension reflects the fact that he has spent 35 years with the company, and during that time has held roles at the very highest levels of management. He is a member of the pension plan that was in place at the time he joined the business in the US... and his pension formula is no more valuable than that of other employees in that scheme."
Top 10 fat cat pension pots
1. Jeroen van der Veer, Royal Dutch Shell, £21,555,450
2. John Varley, Barclays, £18,256,000
3. Frank Chapman, BG Group, £16,574,000
4. David Brennan, AstraZeneca, £14,711,000
5. Paul Walsh, Diageo, £13,481,000
6. Gareth Davis, Imperial Tobacco Group, £12,800,000
7. Byron Grote, BP, £9,999,853
8. Nicandro Durante, British American Tobacco, £9,840,627
9. Andrew Witty, GlaxoSmithKline, £9,651,000
10. Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce, £8,828,000
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...
£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...
Day In a Page
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar