UNISON to mount challenge over pension scheme amends

UNISON is to mount a legal challenge against the changes made to the Local Government Pension Scheme announced by the government today.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed earlier today that the 85 year rule, whereby local government workers can retire early if their age and years of service total more than 85, would be removed.

Local government minister Phil Woolas said: “It is our clear intention to remove the 85 year rule from the Scheme from 1 October 2006, to comply with European age discrimination legislation.”

“The rule of 85 discriminates not only on the grounds of age, but also against women, who are likely to start work for their local government employer later and on a part-time basis,” he added.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of public sector union UNISON, said they believed the government and Local Government Association had the law wrong.

“These imposed changes are an attack on LGPS members,” he said. “They have paid 6 per cent of their salary all their working lives. They’re not responsible for the state of the pension schemes.”

He concluded that the union wanted the same treatment as other public sector workers who have their pension rights protected.

“It is a matter of fairness and equality. We have 12 weeks to continue talks and make the government see sense before the order becomes final,” he concluded.


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