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Local Govenment Service Group Conference Bournemouth June 2012

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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.
Susan Kennedy
Susan Kennedy
Claire Lyall
Claire Lyall

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, Aberdeenshire’s 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 to come.”







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Local Government Conference 2012
Bournemouth International Centre