One in five entitled to public sector pension

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Indy Politics

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly warned that the "unsustainable" rise in the annual bill for public sector pension schemes must be tackled.

* Around one in five of all UK citizens has some entitlement to a public sector pension.

* The schemes currently have 12 million members who are either making contributions, drawing pensions or have built up pension benefits.

* Public sector pension schemes paid out £32 billion in 2008/09 - the equivalent of two-thirds of the cost of the basic state pension.

* The cost of pensions for the five main public service schemes, namely those for local government workers, the NHS, teachers, the civil service and the armed forces, has soared by nearly a third in the past decade.

* The gap between contributions and the cost of pensions being paid out is set to more than double to £9 billion in the next four years, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

* The cost of paying pensions for members of unfunded public sector schemes is set to reach 1.9% of GDP this financial year, and remain close to this level for the next decade.

* The average pension paid to a public sector worker is around £7,800 a year, with half of workers receiving less than £5,600 a year, while 10% get £1,000 or less.

* Public sector workers are now expected to spend around 40% of their adult lives in retirement.

* A female NHS worker who retired at 60 in 1956 was expected to live for a further 20 years, someone who retires at the same age now is expected to live for a further 32 years.

* Around 85% of public sector workers have some form of employer-sponsored pension scheme, compared with just 35% of people in the private sector.