9th January 2015
British taxpayers will be forced to hand over more money to Brussels to pay for the pensions of European Union civil servants and politician.
In 2013 the total pension liabilities for EU officials’ pensions stood at £35.8 billion, £4 billion of which the British taxpayer will have to pay for.
The cost of pensions for retired EU MEPs and civil servants is set to reach £1.3 billion this year, an increase of 7.3% on last year.
According to The Telegraph, EU auditors have found rising pension costs to be the cause of Britain’s increase EU bill.
A British government spokesman told the paper: ‘At a time when governments have taken significant actions to reduce the costs of their public sector, including commitments to fundamental reviews of staff pension schemes, the EU institutions must reflect the very difficult decisions which are being made right across Europe.’
Last year EU officials were allowed to cut the amount they contribute to their pensions from 11.6% to 10.6%, meaning taxpayers have to pick up the difference.
The average pension a retired EU worker receives each year is around £40,000 but those at the top can expect pensions up to £85,000 compared to just £11,600 for British pensioners as of 2012 figures.
MEPs pay no contributions to their pension, which are 100% taxpayer funded, and receive £13,760 a year for every five years served.
The average retirement age of all officials is 61 while British citizens will see the state pension age rise to 68.
The European Court of Auditors noted the cut in pension contributions for EU workers in a recent report: ‘While staff contribute one third of the expected cost of these benefits from their salaries, the member states jointly guarantee the payment of these benefits, and will be called upon to finance them in the future.’