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02 February 2000

Executives look to cosy retirement
Leading company executives are likely to retire on six-figure company pensions, and many of them will get over a quarter of a million pounds a year, according to a new survey.

Labour Research magazine investigated the directors with the highest pension entitlement in each of the FTSE100 companies and found that most will get more pension in one week than a state pensioner will receive in a year. Of 85 covered, 83 will retire on more than ?100,000, and 39 of these will get over ?250,000.

The figures represent what they would get on the basis of current salary and years of service. Between now and retirement those still in service can expect these figures to increase, and often quite quickly. Most executives benefit from pension arrangements that provide two-thirds of pay at retirement after 20 years' service. This means their pension entitlement builds up twice as fast as average occupational pension schemes.

The richest pensioner is Sir George Bull of food and drinks group Diageo. Sir George retired as chair of the company at the end of July 1998 after 32 years' service and now gets ?533,000 a year. But 62-year-old Sir George will not be idle, as on leaving Diageo he took over as chair of Sainsbury's, which pays him ?185,000 a year.

Third and sixth in the league table are partners-to-be Sir Richard Sykes and Jan Leschly, respectively of GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham, the two pharmaceutical giants which are planning to merge.

Sir Richard has already built up a pension of ?494,000 a year after only 11 years' service with the company. Jan Leschly's accrual rate is even more rapid with eight years' service already providing him with a potential ?449,000.

Notes to editors

The February 2000 issue of Labour Research includes pension details of the directors with highest pensions in each of the FTSE100 companies. The price of a single copy of the magazine is ?2.95 (?3.25 including postage).
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 88 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For further information contact Richard Pond on 0171 902 9812.

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