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Date: 29 June 2006

Scottish LG pensions regulations move towards greater protection

UNISON, the largest Scottish Local Government union today responded to the announcement of changes to the Scottish Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) with caution.

Whilst the regulations propose the removal of the Rule of 85 - the provision that allows Scottish Local Government workers to retire on unreduced pensions/ their entitled pensions if they have long service and are over 60 - the proposals to protect the conditions of existing staff go further than those proposed in the rest of the UK, extending protection to those who will be 60 up to 2020, ie any LGPS member who was 46 or over by 1 April this year.

Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser - Bargaining), said "It is still clear that neither we, nor the Scottish Employers, nor indeed the European Commission, see any need to remove the Rule of 85. There is still a judicial review pending into this argument and this will continue. However it is interesting to see that the Scottish Executive has moved away from completely following the dictates of Westminster, and is proposing increasing the number of existing members of the LGPS who will have the conditions they signed up for protected."

UNISON, who were the largest union involved in the recent strikes over the threat to remove the Rule of 85, have a delegate meeting arranged for tomorrow at which an initial response to the proposed changes will be discussed. The Executive have put the proposals out for consultation until the 31 July.


Note for editors: The LGPS covers employees of Local authorities, police and fire authorities, Colleges and some universities, Scottish water, SEPA, the Care Commission, Children's Reporters and Careers Scotland. Some Community and voluntary organisations are also covered. Separate pension arrangements cover Teachers and lecturers, NHS staff and civil servants, police officers and firefighters. These have already had a committment to protect their early retirement provision.

For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish organiser - Bargaining) 0845 355 0845(w) 07958 121 861(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)