CORPORATE bigwigs are being showered with millions in cash as big firms conspire to avoid paying higher tax on their pension pots, it was revealed today.
Executives at Britain’s top 100 stock market floated companies collectively stuffed £33 million into their pockets last year to evade a government clampdown on tax breaks on retirement savings that have been exploited by the rich.
City-slickers are sidestepping new rules that slap a 55 per cent levy on lump sums and 25 per cent on incomes when a pension pot busts the £1.25m barrier.
The annual Trades Union Congress PensionsWatch report showed that of 343 top executives senior directors received an average of £149,493 in cash — 17 per cent of their salary.
CEOs at the top of the food chain did even better with a payout per head of £230,854. — nearly a quarter of wages.
Despite a big plunge in pension contributions City executives still saw employers chip in 12 per cent of their wages to feather-bed their retirements.
That compares with just 6.6 per cent on average for mere employees.
So there is no need to shed a tear for the likes of BP chief executive Bob Dudley, who can look forward to a £1.1m-a-year pre-tax pension.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said of the findings: “There may have been a move away from more generous defined benefit schemes for top directors in recent years, but this change certainly does not mean that they are losing out.
“Unlike employees, who have seen the value of their pensions slashed, company bosses are now getting huge cash payouts on top of their already substantial salaries.”