"AN ELITE group of senior Scottish Executive civil servants are to share a taxpayer-funded "golden goodbye" of nearly £1.8 million when they retire, The Scotsman can reveal.
On top of pensions of up to £80,000 a year, the 16 civil servants will be given lump sum payments averaging more than £100,000 when they reach the age of 60.
Last night, opposition politicians called for the Executive's pension rules to be reviewed because of the growing disparity between the highest levels of the civil service and the rest of the public and private sectors. "
The implication of the article is that somehow these civil servants are being given a special deal. In fact, it is just the longstanding standard pension arrangements for all established civil servants, whether in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK. On reaching 60, a civil servant will retire with a pension of 1/80th of his or her final salary for every year of service up to a maximum of 40 years, together with a single lump sum of 3/80ths of his or her final salary for every year of service. The Scotsman may consider this excessively generous (although it is rather less generous than the pension arrangements for MSPs or, for example, the police), but it is misleading to imply that there is some kind of special deal involved.
One might also argue that senior civil servants are overpaid - but that is a different issue from pensions.