Aberdeenshire UNISON

UNISON members vote 25 to 1 for new pensions scheme

UNISON members conditioned to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) have voted overwhelmingly for the new scheme in a ballot.

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.

Mike Kirby, Scottish Convenor"We 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 information.

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 sector.

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.