Friday, 17 June 2011

Beware of being average

Many of the 5 million workers affected by the public sector pension changes could face much bigger hikes in their contributions than they expected.

In the bewildering swirl of figures, there's a danger of being flummoxed by the use of averages.

On average, for instance, pension contributions will be 3.2% higher, which is a lot more than it sounds.

What it means is that contributions might go up from around 6% of earnings to around 9%, though the exact numbers depend on the job.

But Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is promising today that 1.25m workers will have no increase or a very small one -- those who are earning less than £18,000.

The implication is that those earning more than £18,000 will have to stomach increases of a lot more than 3.2% in order to make that average figure work.

So how many will end up paying more? Could be millions.

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