good reasons to take action on 30th Nov to defend our pensions
here for a poster
1. Our pensions are
not "gold-plated". The UK government and the media would have
us believe that public sector workers have gold-plated pensions
but this is just not true.
The average Local Government pension is
£3,500 - £5,000 a year and for women it is just £2,800.
The average pension of a Director of a
FTSE 100 company is £174,963 a year. These are the real "gold-plated
2. If the government
gets its way our pensions will be worth even less. The UK
government has already changed our pensions from being linked
to the higher Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index.
This means that the average public service pensioner is losing
£117 a year and that will be cumulative.
These cuts to our pensions will lead to
pensioner poverty for many and to a greater reliance on state
benefit when we retire.
to move to a 'career average' pension instead of final salary
could see another drop in our pensions. To get roughly equal to
what people get now, the pension would have to accrue at about
1/55th of salary. Currently the Scottish scheme accrues at 1/60th.
The government plans an accrual rate of 1/65th of salary meaning
less in retirement while paying more.
And don't believe the myth about a pensions
deficit. There is no funding gap - the public sector schemes were
assessed for long term risk and adjusted accordingly three years
ago and are now very secure.
Both the local government pension scheme
and NHS pension scheme are currently cash rich with income far
exceeding outgoings. So there is no need for this government to
3. Ordinary people
are being made to pay to bail out the banks. The UK government's
proposals to have ordinary workers pay an extra 50% on their pensions
contributions is nothing more than a pensions tax to bail out
money will not even go into pension funds. IT WILL GO STRAIGHT
INTO THE TREASURY. Yet again people like us, on modest wages are
being made to pay for a crisis that we didn't create, whilst the
government happily cancelled the bankers' bonus tax which could
have raised £3billion.
This could also affect the viability of
our pensions schemes as people think twice before joining a pension
scheme that requires them to pay so much extra for a pension that
will be worth less.
The Scottish Government has decided
not to make Local Government workers in Scotland pay extra but
it will make our colleagues in health, teaching and other pension
funds pay more because the UK Government will dock their budget
if they don't. We need to put down a marker to make sure that
the extra increase is not visited on us down the line.
4. Cutting public
sector pensions won't make private sector pensions better.
In fact it will just make it harder to win pensions justice for
all. That's why our colleagues in private sector trade unions
are supporting our action.
sector pensions used to be better than the public sector but were
eroded by Margaret Thatcher's government. We mustn't support a
race to the bottom.
The real pensions divide is between the
final salary pensions of those at the top of big business and
the rest of us and the gap is getting wider. Whilst public sector
workers' wages are frozen, boardroom pay went up by almost 50%
5. We need to
take action not just for ourselves, but for our children and our
grandchildren. If we lose our entitlement to decent pensions
it will be very difficult to get it back and the people who will
suffer most are future generations of workers.
to make us work longer will not only affect the quality of our
lives when we get older, but will also mean fewer jobs for young
Already, for the first time in generations,
our children are likely to have a poorer standard of living than
their parents. The gap between rich and poor has increased rapidly
over the last two decades and unless we start to take action,
this trend will continue and our children will pay the price.
6. Now is the time
to stand up and be counted. If the UK government thinks it
can get away with making us pay more for our pensions, and making
us work longer, for a poorer pension at the end of it then it
will come back for more.
Already public service workers have suffered
a wage freeze and cuts to jobs and services at the same time as
the price of basics like food and fuel is rocketing.
We need to tell this government that enough
is enough. We won't be pushed around on our pensions too.
Take action today for fairness tomorrow.
Stand up for pensions justice.