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Departments: Early Retirement

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his staff took early retirement in the last five years; at what cost; what grades of staff took early retirement; and what percentage of each grade took early retirement. (148815)

The following table sets out the number of officers in each grade who have taken early retirement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 2002 and the total cost per annum of their compensation.

Grades

Total cost to FCO (£)

SMS1

D7

D6

C5

C4

B3

A2/1

2002-03

2,518,387

11

2

3

7

1

1

2003-04

3,666,088

21

1

3

5

1

2

2004-05

7,692,646

22

5

6

7

9

13

6

2005-06

18,158,682

37

8

19

27

34

21

26

2006-07

11,269,250

33

1

8

15

13

9

5

1 SMS is the Senior Management Structure.

We are unable to supply the information requested about early retirements as a percentage of staff in each grade as we do not hold this data in our records for years up to 2005.

It is our policy to do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies. But, following the 2004 Spending Review, we have carried out a restructuring exercise to realise efficiency savings. This early retirement programme will enable us to reduce the size of the SMS in the FCO by 18 per cent. by 31 March 2008.

All payments to early retirees have been calculated and paid in strict accordance with the terms of the standard Civil Service Compensation Schemes. The aforementioned total costs listed include both compensation and early payment of pension sums, some of which would have been payable to these staff whenever they retired.