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Pension cuts - less incentives for a career in the public sector?

It is common for people to say that public sector workers' pay, perks and pensions should be cut in these times of economic austerity, and many governments have followed suite in order to cut their deficit.

This could be the right move forward given that many public sectors are bloated, there is too much duplication, and some people argue that the people are inefficient as public sectors jobs are “jobs for life”. However, by taking such measures are governments at risk of failing to attract the best and brightest talent from universities? If we get back to a situation where both the private and public sector in Europe are recruiting en-masse again, which path will a high-flying graduate choose?

Surely some of the draws of the public sector have been that although pay can be (considerably) less than in the private sector, there is job security, more reasonable working hours and a generous pension at the end of it...will we see a drop in quality of the public sector because of this? Or has the private sector always attracted the brightest and most motivated young people anyway?


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