Firefighters' true cost show in accounts

FIREFIGHTERS in Suffolk cost council tax payers almost 44 per cent more than their basic salaries, the Evening Star can reveal today.

FIREFIGHTERS in Suffolk cost council tax payers almost 44 per cent more than their basic salaries, the Evening Star can reveal today.

The council has to spend an extra 43.6 per cent on top of salaries to pay for their pensions.

But the firefighters themselves have to pay 11 pc of their salaries towards the pension cost – almost twice the rate of other county council employees, currently six per cent.

The high cost of their pensions reflects the fact that firefighters retire earlier than other workers.

Also unlike the main county council scheme it is not supported by an invested pension fund, the money is paid directly from county council funds.

"We pay more for our pension than other people, last month nearly £200 was taken off my salary slip for pension payments.

Most Read

"Other groups like customs officers and the armed forces don't pay anything towards their pensions and get the money when they retire," said Paul Woolstenholmes from the FBU.

The cost of fire service pensions is revealed in the county council's accounts for the year 2002/3 which are currently open for inspection by members of the public.

During the year the cost of these pensions to the county council was £3.05 million, up from £2.89 million in 2001/2.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter