Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/435/5146
The Socialist 13 April 2006 |
Join the Socialist
Local government pensions: New deal in the offing?
LOCAL GOVERNMENT workers have been fighting, and striking against,
plans by their employers and the government to attack their pension
plans. The workers want, for example, to defend their right to retire at
the age of 60 if they have at least 25 years' service (the '85-year
A recent letter to local councils from the Local Government
Association (LGA), the council bosses, says: "Up to 50% of the
savings accruing from the abolition of the Rule of 85, and consideration
of the savings from the revised commutation arrangements [are] to be
made available to fund scheme improvements, including protection of
arrangements for existing staff, and creating a more equitable and
This seems to indicate that a deal is in the air for the council
workers' pensions scheme. If this is so then, as usual, the devil will
be in the detail. As we go to press there is much speculation about its
The union leaders have made it clear that what they expect is that
existing members of the pension scheme should have at least the same
protection as other public-sector workers.
Next week's paper will carry a more detailed explanation of
developments as they unfold but it is clear that the mass strike on 28
March, by a million council workers and others, shook the government
once again and forced what seems like concessions from them.