FBU says proposed increase in retirement age to 68 for firefighter control staff is ‘unrealistic and unworkable’

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Thousands of firefighter control staff are being balloted from today on proposed changes to their pensions.

The FBU members are part of the Local Government Pension Scheme for England and Wales.

The leadership is calling for a ‘no’ vote, because of concerns over the levels at which members’ pensions will be accumulated and over the proposed increase in the pension age for control staff to 68.

Senior officials describe the older retirement age as ‘unrealistic and unworkable’.

Separate ballots are also underway among members of the LGPS in UNISON, GMB, Unite and Ucatt.

Changes to the pension scheme follow months of negotiations in the wake of the N30 mass strike last year and are due to come into effect in 2014.

Frontline firefighters are covered by separate pension provisions and did not take part in the November 30th action because the FBU was involved in separate negotiations for members across the UK.

The union says it will continue to lobby for control staff to be transferred from the LGPS to the scheme for frontline FBU members.

The FBU is the only union in the local government scheme – with the exception of UNISON’s higher education sector – which has formally recommended a ‘NO’ vote.

The ballot is due to close on 22 August.


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