On top of a pay freeze, rising inflation and the threat of redundancy, public sector workers now face a pensions raid. The Hutton Report is a Trojan horse to attack public sector pensions and make public sector workers pay the price for the excesses of the bankers.
The report recommends that:
- Staff contributions to increase by up to 50% – This was announced by the ConDem
government last year before the report was released. Increased contributions will not go into your pension schemes, they will go to plug a funding gap caused by cuts. This is a direct tax on public sector workers to bail out the banks!
- The retirement age to be increased – for some people this could increase to 68!
- Pensions to be calculated on your career average salary rather than your final salary.
- There should be a cap on employer contributions – this means that any increase in
pension costs will be put directly on staff in the scheme.
- Workers who are outsourced should not be allowed to be members of the scheme.
- Increases in pensions should be linked to the lower CPI measure of inflation
rather than the RPI measure of inflation.
- The report also makes some recommendations which UNISON would welcome such as greater transparency and access to information relating to the pension schemes.
There is a lot of mis-information surrounding public sector pensions. Public sector
pensions are not gold plated, with the average in local government being £4,000 a year
and this falls to £2,800 for women.
Public sector pension schemes make more money than they pay out and they are entirely sustainable, having only been renegotiated in 2006. If we didn’t save for a decent pension we would have to rely on benefits in retirement which would cost the taxpayer more in the long term. It’s worth noting that over £100billion is invested by public sector pensions in the UK which supports the economy.
UNISON is committed to defending good public services and decent pensions for all.