Local government members to vote on final pensions offer
05 Jul 2012
Five thousand Prospect members are to be balloted on the final government offer for changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme.
The ballot will run from 16 July to 13 August. At a meeting of Prospect branches covered by the scheme, representatives unanimously decided to recommend acceptance of the proposals.
The terms of the final offer negotiated between the Local Government Association and the trade unions Unison, Unite and GMB were contained in a series of documents released at the end of May.
Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd said the recommendation reflected the view that the deal was the best that could be achieved by negotiation. “Should the proposals be rejected there is a real risk of the government imposing worse changes to the scheme.”
Unlike the civil service agreement, the LGPS changes would take effect on 1 April 2014. But most of the other changes – a career average scheme, full pension at state pension age and CPI indexation – parallel those in other public sector schemes.
Hudd said the changes proposed by the government were not justified by the evidence and would mean some members paid more for a reduced level of benefit.
However, the final package was a great deal better than the government’s initial proposals. Improvements had been made to the accrual rate and the position of part-timers, the LGPS would remain a defined benefit scheme, and the position of those within ten years of retirement on 1 April 2012 was fully protected.
Appealing to members to cast a vote, Hudd said: “A high turnout will show the government that members care about their pension and other terms and conditions. Please make the effort to record your views in the ballot and encourage colleagues to do likewise.”
Prospect members covered by the LGPS include those in the recently established Aspect group of members in education and children's services, the Environment Agency and several non-departmental public bodies.
Members for whom Prospect holds email addresses will be balloted electronically, so it is important that members ensure the union has their preferred email address. Members for whom Prospect does not hold an email address will be balloted by post.
In the event of a query that is not covered by the material supporting the ballot, please contact email@example.com.