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EU staff retire early with huge pensions

August 21st, 2005


EU officials retire at 50… and you pay for it
TAXPAYERS in Britain are having to fund a new Brussels gravy train which will see unelected Eurocrats retiring on massive pensions at 50. Under the crazy plan they will be able to leave on 65 per cent of their salaries – or up to £6,000 a month. Those who hang on until they are 55 can retire on a full salary… Shadow Foreign Secretary Liam Fox said taxpayers would be “appalled” at having to pay for this “Euro gravy train”. As Britain puts more into the EU than it takes out, it will be one of the small number of nations having to bear the brunt of the scheme. Under a European statute, officials older than 45 on May 1, 2004, or those who have been in office 20 years can opt to take early retirement 50. Those who simply cannot wait until their 50th birthday to retire can give up work at any time.
(Daily Express 17 August 2005)

Scandal of EU parasites
The pensions industry is in crisis. Millions of us are living in fear of a poverty-stricken old age. And what is the reaction of the European Union officials, those self-selected, self-important meddlers who would seek to intrude into every aspect of our lives? They grant themselves massive pensions at 50 – an age when they are young enough to begin a second career. If ever there was an example of what a bloated and corrupt institution the EU has become, this is it. These people are leeches: gorging themselves on EU money and ensuring they will have a steady stream of the stuff for life. And who pays for this bonanza? The taxpayer – the same taxpayer who may have to work longer to fund someone else’s retirement. This grotesque scheme must be dropped now.
(Daily Express leader column 17 August 2005)

William Hague column
The latest total misuse of your money by the unelected European Commission is to let bureaucrats retire at 50 on 65 per cent of their salaries. .Not surprisingly, hundreds of them are jumping at the chance to do so. Meanwhile, millions across Europe are told they will have to work much longer for their pension. It does not inspire confidence in the EU that it is run by such a bunch of hypocritical wasters.
(News of the World 21 August)

EU officials enjoying a luxurious lifestyle replete with inexplicable benefits, elaborate perks and gargantuan entitlements obviously had the press and some politicians frothing at the mouth. Yet if the officials mentioned in these stories were indeed to “hang on” until they are 55 to “retire on a full salary” then, under the pension formula worked out for European Commission staff, they would have had to have begun working at the age of five. For most employees who started out a little later in life, retiring early results in a substantial loss of income. A typical official retiring at 55 loses 28% of their pension entitlement.

While the European Commission does allow early retirement without loss of pension rights, it is offered only on a very limited basis – just 40 officials have been allowed to retire early in 2005 (out of a workforce of 22,000), and all had to be 55 or over – not 50.
This early retirement scheme is used by the Commission to make savings elsewhere. For example, the entry into the EU of 10 additional member states in 2004 meant that new staff had to be recruited to ensure that European institutions could continue to function effectively. Translation services, for instance, needed people who could speak the nine extra official languages that EU enlargement entailed. To keep a lid on budgets and staffing levels, 530 officials were given the option to retire without loss of rights. But only half of the vacant posts that arose were subsequently filled – this was a one-off exercise, not a one in, one out exercise. As a result, the taxpayer did not have pay a single extra penny.

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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