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Concerns raised about number of council staff taking early retirement

30 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Powys County Hall in Llandrindod Wells

Elgin Hearn Local Democracy Reporter

Concerns have been raised over the number of Powys County Council staff who took early retirement last year.

The figures were discussed at a meeting of the council’s Governance and Audit committee on Friday, November 24 as they were presented with the 2022/2023 council’s Pension Fund accounts.

The document provides data on staff who have left the workplace and are now classed as “new pensioners.”

During 2022/2023 a total of 230 members of staff retired. Five were on the grounds of ill health, 49 were “normal” retirements and 176 people took early retirement.

Councllor Pete Lewington (Conservative) said: “Just a quick observation around the number of early retirements in view of the difficulties we have of attracting people to the work force. I wondered if that was due to any particular reasons.”

Head of finance Jane Thomas: “It is everybody’s choice to retire when they wish to. I think after Covid-19 we saw more people re-considering their lives and work/life balance.”

Ms Added added: “We did see a rise in that period, and this year (2022/2023) is not long after. It will be worth keeping an eye on what happens over the next few years. It is a trend we’ve seen elsewhere as well.”

Direct plea

Audit Wales had given the accounts a clean bill of health and intend issuing an unqualified audit opinion.

The committee approved the accounts which will be formally signed by the committee chairwoman and lay member Lynne Hamilton and head of finance Jane Thomas.

At a UK political level, the number of “economically inactive” people of working age has been seen as an issue that impacts economic growth.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP has been looking to coax middle-aged retirees back into work, making a direct plea to retirees. He said: ”To those who retired early after the pandemic, or haven’t found the right role after furlough, I say – Britain needs you.”

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7 months ago

More cost on another “cash strapped” council then!! These early retirements, pensions and sickness payments must be costing more than the cost of services to the public. All council tax money seems to be spent on council staff these days and nothing else which begs the question: “Do we really need councils who cannot provide the services they are employed to do?”

7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

What your missing is the fact that most if not all of those workers have worked in low paid jobs and providing council services for the local communities for beyween 30yrs to 50yrs before they either retired early or at full pensionable age. They paid into thier own pension funds for their retirement so they are more than entitled to get them in full. Unlike the politicians who get paid good wages then claim for everything for two homes all the bills and cost plus eat in the best places at tax payers expenses then retire after two too four… Read more »

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