Fresh strike threat over pensions row

The local government pensions row, which almost triggered strikes
in March, has been reignited by proposals that go beyond earlier
plans to limit benefits.

Unions have written to deputy prime minister John Prescott warning
that strike action could result if the government accepts proposals
from the Employers’ Organisation to increase the standard
retirement age to 65 and raise employee contributions by 1 per

These exceed earlier government proposals that caused the initial
row, particularly the phasing out over eight years the “85-year
rule”, under which people can retire at 60 on full pension as long
as they have 25 years’ service.

Under the new plans, the 85-year rule would be scrapped next April.

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