Enough is enough - the
battle for decent pensions for women
Local Government delegates heard that women
are at greater risk than men of pensioner poverty with
around half of all women unable to make adequate pension
provision for their future.
Conference set out a range
of measures to encourage women to join or to stay in
the Local Government Pensions Scheme and to become actively
involved in campaigning for improved pensions for women.
Supporting the Women's Committee motion,
Susan Kennedy said that 65% of public sector workers are
women, and in
Local Government that rises to 75%.
“Many of these women, like me, are low paid part-time
workers. We can look forward to a princely £1,600
per year on average for our pensions.
“For many women it must seem hardly worth it,” said
Susan, “But we must encourage women to stay on board
with the Local Government Pension Scheme, because opting
out will mean a reliance on the state pension on retirement
of a meagre £140 a week if that – so poverty
in old age.”
She also warned that women opting out of the scheme would
lose out on death in service benefits and would forego
any prospect of enhanced ill-health pensions.
But it wasn’t just about keeping women in the scheme,
it was also about encouraging and supporting women to get
actively involved in campaigning for our pensions – to
become pensions champions and pensions trustees, Susan
added, calling on all of us to stand up for decent and
fair pensions for our women members.
Claire Lyall of Glasgow City Branch also
backed the strategy and told Conference of the impact that
the attacks on their
pensions was having on her women members and the worries
they had for the future.
She warned, “We are not just fighting for the pensions
of women today. We have a duty to fight for the women yet