Magazine article Public Finance

Strike Threat as LGPS Talks Falter

Magazine article Public Finance

Strike Threat as LGPS Talks Falter

Article excerpt

The Local Government Association and unions have failed to reach an agreement over the benefit protection of existing members of the local government pension scheme, bringing the likelihood of strike action closer.

Although unions have conceded that a rule allowing long-serving members to retire before the age of 65 should be phased out, they continue to demand lifetime protection for existing members.

Consultation on a draft parliamentary order scrapping the rule for new members on October 1,2006 and for existing members by April 1,2013 ended on February 28.

Speaking on that date, LGA chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said that union proposals to extend protection to all existing scheme members would cost 'more than £6bn' over 15 years.

'The council tax payer simply cannot pay more,' he said. 'People are living longer and unless action is taken now, the cost to individual council tax payers and local government will continue to rise.'

The unions have rejected the LGA's figures, saying they are based on overly conservative' actuarial assumptions. …

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