Monday 6 February 2012

Who’s Got A Nice Big Pension Pot?

First of all massive thanks to the eagle eyed Mr Mustard who tipped me off to this story.
Last year, having reviewed Barnet Council’s annual audit, I noticed that a few members of staff had been paid, in total, over £1 million in compensation for loss of office (when staff leave their job). At the time I remarked about the very significant sum paid to the former Executive Director for Environment and Development who received £280,485 upon leaving the Council.

So it was with interest that I reviewed the London Development Agency Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2010 to see that a certain Mr A Travers had received just £8,575 compensation for loss of office when he departed from the LDA. A modest sum by all accounts but then again he did receive £162,595 in salary. However, when you scan across the line a rather large figure jumps out. Pension contributions £437,797 of which, £417,473 was paid as early retirement costs.

It also notes that Mr Travers was seconded to London Borough of Barnet from January to March 2010 at a cost to the Borough of £44,957 including salary and on costs. So Mr Travers was employed by the LDA; he was then seconded to Barnet Council for three months from January to March 2010 and then very neatly he started his consultancy contract through Halliford Associates at £1,000 a day with Barnet Council on 12 April 2010. Very convenient timing for someone who had just received such a large pension fund top up for “early retirement costs”.
At a time when everyone is suffering hardship it seems that some are suffering less than others.

Oh and by the way, I thought I would have a look at the Board of the LDA at the time to see who was a member these events took place. What a surprise when I saw that a certain Cllr Michael Freer from London Borough of Barnet was one of the board of the LDA at the time.

Perhaps I should leave it there and let people form their own views.


  1. I see, Mr Reasonable, that the LDA is to be closed and its functions folded into the GLA. Staff have been reduced from 324 to 155. I think there will be a lot more over-generous payouts to come by 31 March 2012.

  2. Goodness me, Mr Reasonable: how very curious.I am glad, however, to see that Blackhole is well set up for his twilight years. A man who is used to £1,000 a day in his working life cannot be expected to eke out his twilight years on a pittance, like the rest of us.

  3. What's with this talk of early retirement? Blackhole was born in 1960 so he was only 50 when he got his pension pot stuffed with used fivers at the LDA. I thought the retirement age was going up, not down. It is his birthday a week on Friday. Don't forget to send him a card, "congrats on your retirement" should do nicely.

    Isn't this one of those events that annoy people. I have seen it with a CEO retiring on health grounds and magically able to be the CEO of another authority just 6 months later. It will be in Private Eye somewhere.

    So Black Hole has managed two tricks. One an early retirement and then another plum post and some nifty footwork on the tax front. He may look like a boring accountant.....

    This is all going to end in tears one day and they won't be mine.

  4. So the Travers arrangement is the same as that used by the CEO of the Student Loans Company that was changed by the coalition as soon as the news broke. Essentially HMRC rules outlaw these arrangements as clearly the length of time means it is a permanent post. If this is still continuing perhaps Mr Pickles will act.....

  5. For the man who receives £1,000 a day in an 'interim' post, with such a well cushioned retirement to look forward to, every day must seem like his birthday, Mr Mustard ...