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Siu Index
April/May 2007 No 66

Restore pensions link now and final salary schemes for all, says president

UNISON President Malcolm Cantello won STUC backing for a campaign to urge government to immediately restore the link between pensions and earnings and close the gender pay gap. And he called for "good-quality, affordable final-salary pension schemes in both the private and public sector."

While welcoming commitments in the Pensions Bill to restore the link, Malcolm warned the delay until 2012 would devalue the state pension in relation to average earnings by at least 6 per cent.

On raising the pension age he said, "Raising the state pension age to 68 is no good if people can't find work beyond the age of 60." And he called on the government to "restore the link with earnings immediately as well as take action to close the gap between male and female earnings."

Malcolm welcomed the reduction in the number of years required to build a full state pension to 44 years for men and 39 years for women to 30 years for all.

"This means a much larger proportion of women will qualify for the maximum pension - up to 90% by 2025. But why should women have to wait till then?" he asked.

Turning to the new Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme, Malcolm noted we would soon decide on a new scheme with transitional protection up to 2020 and savings from the the Rule of 85 to be put back into the fund. "This is considerably better than where we are down south. You seem to do quite a few things better here in Scotland", he mused.

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