Protect Our Pensions LGPS Campaigns Issue 20


This year’s Local Government Conference voted to carry out a widespread consultation with members over the LGPS 2014 proposals before the postal ballot of members which starts on 31 July and ends on 24 August.

Regions have been asked to ensure that every effort is made to brief as many UNISON members – and non-members – as possible on the proposals. We want to ensure that every member knows what the proposals say, has the chance to vote and that we get a big turnout.

Pension Contacts and Champions can play a crucial role in helping to brief members and recruit new members to UNISON on the back of the proposals.

Please make sure you:

• Look on the LGPS page on the UNISON Pensions website to keep informed and get essential information – are briefings on all aspects of the proposals and some examples illustrating the benefits of the new proposals for part-time workers and comparing the outcomes of the existing scheme with LGPS 2014.

You will also find a PowerPoint presentation and accompanying notes for proposals.

Please do whatever you can to let members in your “patch” know what’s in the proposals and encourage them to vote in the ballot.

What About School Holidays?

Unfortunately our ballot has to be completed before the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) starts its formal consultation on the new scheme from 2014 in September.

DCLG, Minister Bob Neill has promised that the LGPS 2014 will form the basis of the statutory consultation – if agreed.

We are making every effort to ensure that every eligible member has the chance to vote.

Please tell members in your workplace to make arrangements to get their ballot paper if they are going to be away or vote on-line. (Arrangements for on-line voting will be announced shortly).

Key Facts About LGPS 2014 Proposals and LGPS Members

• 90% of members will pay the same contributions as now

• All part-time workers and those earning 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 deliver a better pension than LGPS 2008 for members until 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 linked to the State Pension Age – which is set to rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046

• But many members retire before 62, so the increase in NPA will not affect them

• 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

Recruit and Organise

You will soon receive a recruitment leaflet based on the LGPS 2014 proposals. PLEASE USE IT! Many low-paid and part-time members will be able to join the LGPS for the first time because of UNISON’s negotiations – and most members will pay no more for the same – or better pension.

This is a big achievement in the face of a hostile government which wanted to end defined benefit pensions, increase contributions and worsen benefits.

Let non-members know what UNISON has done and will continue to do for our members.

We need more and more members to show the employers that we have got the industrial strength to resist attacks on pensions, pay, jobs and conditions. So carry on organising! Contact Indira Patel, if you would like to be a UNISON pension contact or champion.

Join UNISON online or call 0845 355 0845