STUC Welcomes Hutton Acceptance That Public Pensions Are Not ‘Gold Plated’

October 7th 2010

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The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has welcomed the acknowledgement from Lord Hutton that public sector pensions are not ‘gold plated’ following the publication of his report into public sector pensions.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said

“While welcoming Lord Hutton’s acceptance that defined contribution or money purchase schemes are not the way forward for public sector workers we are concerned that the proposal of higher contributions from public sector workers may reduce the number of members who choose to enter pensions schemes.

“This is self defeating as future Governments will have to meet the cost of supporting public service workers who retire without pensions. Our fear is that those increased contributions will hit the most vulnerable workers, the low paid and part-time workers who are predominantly women.

“The coalition Government when considering Lord Hutton’s recommendations should remember that public sector pensions schemes have already undergone substantial change with retirement ages in many being raised to 65 in line with the private sector.

“The Government should also review the current method of evaluating pension schemes to provide a more accurate and realistic projection of scheme liabilities.

“The myth that public sector pensions are ‘gold plated’ derives from the race to devalue private sector pensions driven by the greed of large corporations and their share holders, It is deceitful for organisations such as the Institute of Directors to justify transferring the risk for pensions savings to public sector workers to legitimise the tactics of private sector employers”

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