UNISON members vote 25 to 1 for new pensions
UNISON members conditioned to the Local Government Pension
Scheme (LGPS) have voted overwhelmingly for the new scheme in a
Over 95% of LGPS members have voted to accept Scottish Government
proposals for the new scheme announced in February. Mike Kirby,
UNISON's Scottish Convenor announced the result at a meeting of
the union's Scottish Council in Glasgow on 5th April.
welcome this comprehensive vote of confidence in the new scheme
that UNISON has been instrumental in delivering," said Mike.
"It is clear from the improvements that have been achieved,
that it is possible to maintain, and improve a decent final salary
scheme, which is fair to both employers and employees, provides
a decent level of pension and is sustainable in overall cost.
"It is an object lesson to those directors in the private sector
who shout about the need to cut staff pensions whilst maintaining
their own gold-plated pensions, that with fair contributions from
both employees and employers, it IS still possible to offer decent
pension options, pensions that can be an incentive to attract the
valuable staff required to deliver quality public services."
Branch members who attended the AGM had an opportunity to hear
directly from Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser and a key
negotiator in the discussions. Click
here for more information.
A ballot of all members conditioned to the Local Government Pensions
Scheme was held between 3rd and 21st March 2008. UNISON called for
a YES vote. Click here for more
The new scheme retains its final salary element, and improves the
accrual rate of members' pensions. Workers' pension contributions
increase overall, but a new system means that the lower paid will
end up paying less.
The details were negotiated over some months between the trade
unions, the employers (represented by CoSLA) and the Scottish Government.
1) The LGPS in Scotland covers over 220,000 working staff across
a large variety of employers. In addition to Local Councils, many
members work for colleges, universities, the police and fire services,
Scottish Water, Careers Scotland, and the community and voluntary
2) The scheme will be introduced across Scotland in April 2009.
Key features of the new scheme are:
- retention of a normal retirement age of 65 but with flexibility
to work less hours over 65 while taking part pension
- employee contributions increased to an average of 6.3 per cent,
but tiered so lower paid staff pay less
- the new LGPS will mirror other schemes in providing 1/60th
of final salary for each year in service
- modernised partners' pensions - lump sum death in service grants
increase from two to three times final pay and cohabiting partners
now able to receive benefits
3) UNISON members voted by 25,008 to 1,121 in a 25% turn out to
accept the new scheme.