Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Prepares to Fight over '85-Year Rule'

Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Prepares to Fight over '85-Year Rule'

Article excerpt

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has published draft regulations abolishing the socalled '85-year rule, which allowed some local government workers to retire before the age of 65.

It has also indicated that negotiations over protection arrangements for existing scheme members might extend into next summer.

Unlike other public sector schemes, the normal retirement age in the Local Government Pension Scheme has been 65 since the mid1990s.

Under the 85-year rule, however, scheme members whose age plus years in service added up to 85 were able to retire on full benefits before then.

The government will scrap that rule in October 2006, local government minister Phil Woolas announced last week, citing a European Union directive on age discrimination and employment - which becomes law in the UK next October - as the rationale.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, the biggest trade union affected, reacted angrily.

He said: 'The law he is referring to does not yet exist. We will mount a legal challenge, as we believe the government and the Local Government Association have the law wrong.'

Protection for existing scheme members is also still in dispute between employers, the ODPM and unions. …

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