UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Key Facts About LGPS 2014 Proposals and LGPS Members

Following the decision at last month’s Local Government Service Group Conference, UNISON England and Wales branches and regions are conducting a widespread consultation with members over the LGPS 2014 proposals. This will inform the national union’s recommendation in the postal ballot of members which is due to start on 31 July (ending 24 August). Key facts to be taken into account in the consultation are:

· 90% of members will pay the same or less contributions as now

· Most part-time workers and those with actual pensionable earnings between £15,801 and £21,000 will pay less in LGPS 2014

· Over 55% of local government workers work part-time

· Only those earning over £43,001 will pay more

· They make up just 4% of LGPS members

· 95.6% members earn less than £43,000 - the point at which contributions increase

· The LGPS 2014 will for many members deliver a better pension than LGPS 2008, especially for those with less than 20 – 25 years of membership

· But the average length of membership in the scheme is just 7 years, so most members will do better in LGPS 2014

· From 1 April 2014 the Normal Pension Age (NPA) will be at least 65 and will then increase in line with the State Pension Age – which is set to rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046. All pensionable service before 1 April 2014 will retain a Normal Pension Age of 65

· The existing Rule of 85 protections will remain. Members aged 55 or over at 1 April 2012 will be protected by an underpin, which ensures that those people will be no worse off as a result of these changes. Under the proposals there are no plans to remove the pension protection for those made redundant from age 55

· Those who have to work longer will get a bigger pension because they will be paying contributions – and benefitting from employer contributions for longer

· Because all earnings will be pensionable – including non-contractual overtime and additional hours for part-time workers – members will have bigger pensions than now

Most UNISON members not in the LGPS give cost and low pay as the reason. The “50/50 option” will help them to join