Sunday, 1 January 2012

Why you should reject the pensions deal - the facts for workers across the public sector:

N30: millions of public sector workers went on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Senan

N30: millions of public sector workers went on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Senan (Click to enlarge)

Reject the pensions 'deal' - stay united - fight until we win!

  • When Lib Dem minister Danny Alexander put the government's pensions proposals to parliament on 20 December he said clearly that the government had achieved all its "savings goals" and would save tens of billions of pounds. That money is being stolen from public sector workers' pensions.
  • There is no increase in the 'cost ceiling'. This means that even where there have been some small improvements for some workers' accrual rates (the rate per year at which pension benefits are built up) they are being paid for by cuts in the pensions of other workers in the same scheme.
  • The amount that workers will have to pay into their pensions will still increase for all public sector pension schemes, by an average of 3.2% of salary, phased in over three years. This means that someone earning £25,000 will have to pay £800 a year more - effectively an immediate £800 per year pay cut! In health, the leadership of UNISON is claiming it has won a concession because those earning less than £26,000 will not have to pay more into their pensions for one year. However, even this puny concession is being paid for by higher paid public sector workers having to pay more.
  • The 'offer' ties retirement age to state pension age. This means that anyone born on or after 6 April 1960 but before 6 April 1961 will retire at between 66 and 67 years old. People born after 6 April 1961 will not get to retire until they are 67 or older.
  • Pensions will be linked to the CPI rather than the RPI inflation index. This will mean that over an average 20-year retirement, pensions will be worth up to 20% less.
  • In local government the government has agreed to delay implementing these attacks by a year, until 2014, but only on the basis of the unions signing up now to misery a year down the line.
  • This attack is not about the cost of the schemes, but about the government's attempts to make public sector workers pay for a crisis they didn't create!

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