Local Government Pension Scheme

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2007 Special Local Government Conference
2 March 2007

This Special Conference believes that the current package of proposals for the new LGPS represents substantial improvements in benefits for all UNISON members and their families, namely:

·The retention of a final salary scheme

·1/60 accrual rate

·A more flexible definition for period for pensionable pay

·Improved early retirement factors

·Pensions for unmarried partners

·Increased death in service and death in retirement benefits

·The benefits will apply to all from 1st April 2008, avoiding a two tier scheme

·Favourable benefits and contribution rates compared to other schemes such as the NHS and Teachers’ Pension Schemes

We also welcome the removal of the unacceptable proposals on redundancy and that LGPS members made redundant or retiring on ‘efficiency’ grounds over the age of 50 at present and 55 from 2010 will be entitled to an unreduced pension. Negotiations have also led to the restoration of the children’s pension for those with no surviving parent.

These improvements are attributable to delivering effective industrial action, hard work and the successful campaigning of our branches, regions and senior negotiators over two years. This has been a difficult dispute and we acknowledge the prolonged and unhelpful way that civil servants and Government have conducted negotiations, leading to periods where little information was available to members, leaving many feeling that the information available was not as effective as it could have been

However, work must continue on improving benefits and we note the decision of the Trade Union Side meeting on 23rd February that the following areas need further resolution.

a) Contribution rates of part time workers and those on a protected 5% rate

b) Ill Health retirement provision

c) Protection for those formerly covered by the Rule of 85. We note that lifetime protection is likely to be unlawful and discriminatory but we must campaign for the maximum lawful protection.

We note that a consultation exercise across regions has taken place and that the response has been generally favourable.

We therefore call for

1.Negotiations to continue

2.Hold an individual member ballot on the proposals as soon as possible to establish:

(i)whether they are willing to accept the proposals and

(ii)if they are unwilling to accept the proposals, whether they are willing to take part in substantial and escalating industrial action

3.Members and Branches to be kept fully briefed on any updates/improvements during negotiations, ensuring that all LGPS members across all LGPS employers are included

4.Ensure that membership records are updated for all members in all employers for any future ballot or action.

5.Once regulations are laid, for a booklet to be produced for activists and members

6.A programme of training on the new LGPS is rolled out to regions