Union calls ballot on pension rejig

    Public sector union Unison is holding a consultative ballot on
    industrial action over plans to change staff pension schemes.

    National officer Owen Davies warned that, unless the government
    revised its plans, which include raising the minimum age for early
    retirement from 50 to 55, staff would take action. There was “a
    mood of real resentment” and the government needed to act to
    prevent strikes, he added.

    The threat follows news that council pension schemes are facing
    liabilities of £30bn, a threefold increase on 2001, according
    to an interim report by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance
    and Accountancy.

    Changes would come into force for council workers in April, a year
    earlier than similar reforms in the rest of the public sector.

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