Pension reforms moving too slowly, union warns

30 Oct

The GMB trade union has warned that an agreement on reforming pensions for 1.6 million local government workers is under threat.

Brian Strutton, national officer for public services at the GMB, said the public service pensions bill, which enshrines reforms to pensions for millions of public sector workers, did not appear to recognise that the local government pension was unique in that it had been funded with an investment pot of £150bn.

He added that the government had not responded to proposals by unions and the Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, to deal with the costs of the scheme.

“GMB and the other local government unions have worked really hard with council leaders to design benefit and cost changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme that will make the scheme affordable and fair. However government has been abysmally slow in responding to proposals and has so far failed to keep its side of the deal,” said Strutton.

The reforms to the LGPS include switching from a final-salary to a career-average scheme while maintaining contribution levels for the majority of members.

A Treasury spokesman said: “The government is currently considering the proposals submitted by the trades unions and the Local Government Association and will provide a formal response in due course.”

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