The average annual workplace pension for directors at the UK's top companies is 25 times greater than that of ‘ordinary' workers, a TUC study suggests.
The organisation’s sixth PensionsWatch survey found some company top brass are retiring on pensions of over £200,000 a year.
Directors with the greatest entitlements at each company have average pension pots of £5.2m and can expect a pension of £333,400 a year, it says, after analysing the pension arrangements of 346 directors from 102 of the UK's top companies.
Top bosses have amassed pension pots that average around £3m each, it concludes, providing an annual pension of £201,700 a year - 25 times the average workplace pension that ordinary workers receive (£8,100).
PensionsWatch also suggests bosses have bucked the trend towards riskier and less generous pensions for ordinary workers, with three quarters of the directors surveyed on defined benefit (DB) schemes.
The survey found that directors in DC schemes received an average employer contribution of £91,700. The average employer contribution rate was around 21%, three times the average rate for ordinary workers in this type of scheme. The top directors with the highest pension payments at each company received an average employer contribution of £149,600.
The TUC says the survey also uncovered a lack of transparency in the reporting of directors' pension arrangements.
Of the 19 financial sector companies analysed just four companies disclosed the accrual rate they use to calculate pension benefits, it says.
It is calling for greater clarity and reporting of pay, remuneration and pensions, so that investors have the information they need to scrutinise the awards made to directors and employees can see the pension arrangements of their top bosses.
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, says: “As ordinary workers have their pensions schemes closed and are expected to work for longer, the UK's top bosses are avoiding this collective belt tightening and retaining their gold-plated pensions.
“Top bosses justify their lavish pay and pension arrangements on the risks they take and the rewards they deserve for success.
“But these credit crunch-busting retirement plans seem to exist in a different world from the economic squeeze that is affecting everyone else's pensions.”
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