Tom Keighley

Pensions revisions may be “too little, too late” say Unions

In the wake of the government’s revised plan on pensions, Union members say it may be too little, too late.

Commenting on yesterday’s statement by Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, GMB National Secretary Brian Strutton said it would still take time to assess the improved offer on public sector pensions.

The government has now proposed that no-one within 10 years of retirement will have to work any longer, or see their pensions increase.

While David Cameron maintains that the revised offer is a “fair deal” for workers, unions continue to ballot their members on taking strike action on November 30.

Mr Strutton said: “The move today theoretically gives us around 8% more negotiating room and additional protection for some existing members.

“However we don’t know how this will translate into actual proposals for the different pension schemes and it will take some time to work out the details.

“In addition there has been no movement on the 50% contribution hike and we still don’t know what overall cost cap will be imposed.”

He went on to confirm that the ballot on industrial action would continue, as would negotiations between ministers and union chiefs.

While doubt remains over the ability of the proposal to avert strike action, Mr Alexander maintains that they pose a settlement which could endure for 25 years or more.

Around one million public sector workers due to retire in the 10 years from April 1, 2010, will stand to keep keep their existing final salary schemes, and not work any longer.

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