The government has launched an ideological attack on public sector pensions. It aims to increase contributions, end final salary schemes, increase the retirement age and abolish the Fair Deal on Pensions which ensures staff whose work is privatised retain their existing pension entitlements or have a comparable scheme. Pensions are already being updated by the lower consumer price index.
Strike action this year has forced the government to concede that they were wrong to say the pensions are unaffordable. The changes made in 2005 and 2006 put them on a sound footing. This is especially true of the Local Government Pension Scheme with its £100 billion plus of investments.
The government’s strategy will be to divide unions from one another. They may need to make concessions to do this but they will calculate that these can be clawed back later.
Our strategy must be to stay united and take action together. We need to pile on the pressure for action in the autumn across the public sector and also raise the demand for decent pensions for workers in the private sector. Their greedy bosses already have pension pots beyond imagining.