Union’s local government workers today receive pensions ballot papers

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Hundreds of thousands of GMB members working in local government today receive their ballot papers to determine whether or not to accept the government’s offer on pensions.

The union is recommending its members accept the offer, which are being taken as a package and voted on as a whole.

Negotiations to reform the scheme, following the mass pensions strike on 30 November 2011 (pictured) have resulted in changing the scheme to a career average one and revisions to the normal retirement age from 65.

It is known that the government wants to link public sector retirement ages to the new state pension age of 68.

There is to be no change to average staff contribution rates, which are projected to be 6.5% of a member’s salary. There are also detailed terms designed to protect the pensions of people currently close to retirement and for members of the scheme whose jobs are transferred to private companies under government ‘outsourcing’ deals.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with assets of around £130bn.

88 local authorites in England and Wales administer the scheme.

GMB national secretary Brian Strutton said: “We have weighed up the pros and cons in the proposals and on balance is recommending members vote to accept them.

“It is vital that GMB members vote in this ballot, the stronger the message our members send to government the better. Employers and other unions are also consulting on the proposals and it is imperative that GMB members’ views are heard loud and clear.”

The result of the ballot will be announced on August 17th.


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