Thursday, June 24, 2010

Early retirement of Senior Council Officer

Yesterday the East Riding of Yorkshire Council debated the issue of the early retirement of one of the Council’s Senior Officers. This was centred on whether the full Council should in effect support the decision of the Council’s Cabinet in approving the taking of more than £360,000 of taxpayers money from service budgets to put into that Senior Officer’s pension fund, to enable the Officer to take early retirement under the 85 year rule*.

Just over a year ago I supported the awarding of backdated pay rises to the Council Senior Council Officers, (including the retiring Officer), as I felt the move was a way to "retain and attract staff". Alas this has not happened with this particular Officer, which I find very disappointing.

I could not support the Cabinet decision and therefore abstained from the vote, a record of which will be included in the Council minutes.

I fully support the decision taken by the Council to set up a review of the Council's pension scheme and look forward to receiving the findings in due course.

*The 85 year rule allows members to take unreduced benefits before their normal retirement date when their Age + Membership = 85.

Please note: comments are welcome on this posting - but will not be allowed if the Officer is named)


Disgusted and disgruntled council tax payer said...

As I understand it, the 85 year rule has been largely abandoned by all other councils in the UK, leaving ERYC as one of the few which clung on to its use.
There can be absolutely no justification whatsoever in my mind to pay a full pension to anyone wanting to retire before they have reached the correct pension age which we poor fools the council taxpayers are expected to work until. If anyone wishes to stop work early their pension contributions should be held until proper retirement age and a pension based on their contribution record at that time awarded. Top up payments are grossly unjust and unwarranted. The electorate will be reminded of this ridiculous fiasco when the next county council elections come around. A recorded vote will provide the names of those who saw fit to abandon their honour and approve this waste. The message has got to be driven home that councillors must operate with the electorates well being as a primary objective, not a personal fiefdom for senior figures.

John Jessop said...

The following is a message I have sent to the leader of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. To comply with your blog site rules I have blanked out the details of the recipient of our council tax money:-

I am disgusted that East Riding of Yorkshire Council has seen fit to throw £365,000 into a top up payment to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX’s pension fund as the officer is taking early retirement.

The Council should take care to ensure that public funds are spent wisely with a view to obtaining value for the council tax-payers of this county. There can be no justification for making this payment as xxxxxxxx chose to leave employment before the normal retirement age. Any entitlement accrued during the officer’s period of employment should have been considered as a paid up fund. No additions to this sum are justifiable. Anyone outside of the cosy environment of ERYC would have not been handed such a sum.

The matter is particularly galling in that the original cabinet decision was sent back for reconsideration and despite the public feeling being against the decision it was passed through a second time. This demonstrates a total arrogance and significant loss of touch with the electorate. It is unlikely to be forgotten when opportunity for the electorate to make their feelings known arises.

John Jessop