Council bosses accept pension deal

Eric PicklesLocal government employers have come out overwhelmingly in favour of proposed changes to the staff pension scheme.

The Local Government Association said its members have followed the main unions in endorsing the planned changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales, with 93% in favour.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Unison, Unite and the GMB have already accepted the deal, which will see the pension age rise in line with the state pension age to at least 68, with support of between 84% and 95% in ballots of their members.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles now has to decide whether he accepts the proposals, hammered out after the unions went on strike last November, with an announcement expected in October.

If the deal goes through, it will cut the combined contribution rate for staff and employers from 21.7% of staff salaries to 19.5%, saving councils £600 million a year.

LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: "Our approach throughout this process has been to reform the pension scheme so it is fair to our staff, affordable for council tax payers and has a viable long-term future.

"The overwhelming level of support for these proposals is very encouraging and demonstrates the commitment amongst employers in local government to a manageable scheme that gives staff a decent pension when they retire."

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