Suffolk: MP Dan Poulter hits out over health chief Sir Neil McKay’s �2.59m pension pot

SUFFOLK: An Ipswich MP has today hit out at the “crazy” �2.59 million pension pot of an East of England health boss.

New figures released show that chief executives of the ten strategic health authorities in England have final salary pension pots of between �1.2 million and just under �2.6 million.

And the biggest pension belongs to Sir Neil McKay of the East of England authority – currently valued at �2.59 million.

He is on a salary of between �230,000 and �235,000, and can expect to have an annual retirement sum of between �105,000 and �110,000.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “When I worked as a doctor I witnessed this first hand. It seemed that a lot of managers are treated much better than hard working front line staff.

“To have a boss with a pension pot of over �2 million is absolutely crazy at a time when NHS budgets are being stretched.

“There are 1,600 managers on salaries of more than �150,000 and those funds need to be re-directed to help ring-fence front line workers.

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“The government is investing �11.5 billion in the NHS over this parliament, but we urgently need to curb this kind of excessive spending on management.”

An NHS East of England spokeswoman said: “Sir Neil McKay is employed on national Very Senior Manager (VSM) terms and conditions.

“Very Senior Managers are entitled to access the National NHS Pension Scheme, the same pension scheme that is offered to all other members of NHS staff.

“Pension contributions and benefits are decided at national level by the National NHS Pension Scheme and these terms are applied consistently for all staff.”

The chief executives will contribute about 8.5 per cent of their salaries to their pension and the remainder will come out of the NHS budget.

Private sector workers earn an average of just under �24,800 a year, and the majority have no company pension at all.

Those who are lucky enough to have a pension plan contribute an average of 6.1 per cent of their salary, around �1,500 a year. With employer contributions, to accumulate a pension pot of �2.58 million they would need to work for 1,720 years.

n What do you think of this pension pot sum? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@ eveningstar.co.uk.