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01 February 1999

Directors' golden nest eggs
While most employees worry about how they will manage on their meagre pension, some company directors can look forward to a generous nest egg when they retire, reveals a survey in Labour Research magazine.

Labour Research looked at the level of pension that directors in the 20 largest companies quoted on the UK stock exchange could look forward to on their retirement. The pensions of the directors with the highest accrued pension were ranked and in some cases compared with the pension expectation of the average employee in these companies. The survey found that the directors can expect pensions worth up to 138 times those of the average company employee.

Top of the directors' pensions league table was Tony Greener, chief executive of the Diageo food and drinks group. He has accrued a pension worth ?437,000 after 11 years' service. In contrast a Diageo employee, on average earnings of ?17,800, could expect a pension worth ?3,300 after 11 years with the company.

Drugs' company executives filled the following three places in the table and like Greener, all three have accrued pensions worth more than ?400,000 a year.

In the number two slot came Sir David Barnes, chief executive of Zeneca, with a pension worth ?434,000 after 40 years' with the company. The same service would bring a Zeneca employee on average pay of ?29,500 a pension worth around ?20,300 a year.

In third place came Jan Leschly, chief executive of Smithkline Beecham, who can look forward to at least ?428,000 pension benefits after just seven years with the company. This compares with a pension worth around ?3,100 after seven years in the company's final salary pension scheme which an employee on average pay of ?26,600 could expect.

Ranked fourth was Sir Richard Sykes, chair of Glaxo Wellcome, with a pension entitlement amounting to ?426,000 after 12 years' service. An employee with the same service on average pay of ?27,900 could expect a pension of around ?5,600.

Notes to editors

Full details of the directors with the highest pension entitlement in the 20 biggest companies quoted on the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 are published in the February 1999 issue of Labour Research magazine The price of a single copy is ?2.80 (?3.10 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 more details contact Richard Pond on 0171 902 9812.

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