A new Public Sector Pensions Commission has been launched to examine the cost of the sector’s final-salary pensions schemes.
The commission, which is sponsored by the Institute of Directors (IoD), is expected to provide a blueprint for reforms for the next government and will mainly be comprised of representatives from right-wing think-tanks.
The IoD said the commission would be “an independent body comprised of experts in pensions policy to present solutions to the growing problem of unfunded public sector pensions.
“It is increasingly clear that, with ever-increasing longevity, reform is necessary to ensure that public-sector pensions remain financially sustainable for the long term,” the IoD added.
Documents released alongside the Pre-Budget Report revealed the government faced unfunded pension liabilities of £770bn in March last year – up from £650bn in March 2006.
The commission said it would investigate whether it was reasonable for the taxpayer to support final-salary pension schemes in the public sector, when the private-sector had few such schemes still open to new members, the Guardian reported.
Peter Tompkins, chairman of the commission and a pensions adviser at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the new body was not merely intended to justify cuts in public-sector pensions.
He said: “Faced with much-increased costs, a new government will need to look hard at public sector pensions policy early on after the election.”