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What is a public sector pension worth?

  • Richard Disney

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Carl Emmerson

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Gemma Tetlow

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

We measure accruals in defined benefit (DB) pension plans for public and private sector workers in Britain, using typical differences in scheme rules and sector-specific lifetime age-earnings profiles by sex and educational group. We show not just that coverage by DB pension plans is greater in the public sector, but that median pension accruals as a % of salary are almost 5% higher among DB-covered public sector workers than covered private sector workers. This is largely driven by earlier normal pension (retirement) ages. For workers of different ages in the two sectors, marginal accruals also vary as a result of differences in earnings profiles across the sectors. The differences in earnings profiles across sectors should induce caution in using calculated coefficients on wages from cross sections of data in order to estimate sectoral wage effects.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp1707.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W07/17.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:07/17
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  1. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "What Are Occupational Pension Plan Entitlements Worth in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 213-38, May.
  2. Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling, 1998. "Does it pay to work in the public sector?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 347-374, November.
  3. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "The Consequences of The Decline in Public Sector Pay in Britain: A Little Bit of Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F107-F118, February.
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