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Hutton proposes pension overhaul

  • 16 Comments

Former labour cabinet minister Lord Hutton has suggested that those who work for the NHS, teachers and police should receive pensions based on their average salary throughout their career, rather than ones based on their pay immediately before they retire.

He also urged the government to raise the age at which most public sector staff can start drawing their pension to the same as the state pension age, while members of the armed forces, police and firefighters should not be able to retire before the age of 60.

Lord Hutton’s proposals are expected to anger unions, which have already warned that public sector staff are prepared to strike to ensure their pensions are protected.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis urged the government to hold talks to discuss the report, rather than “rushing” to make cuts and face industrial action.

Lord Hutton proposes that the government should be able to introduce new career-average schemes by 2015, although the armed forces and police could have a longer transition period if necessary. He also wants a “clear cost ceiling” to be introduced for the proportion of pay that taxpayers would contribute to public sector workers’ pensions.

However, he revealed pensions that had already been accrued by staff in final salary schemes would be honoured in full.

He said: “The current model of public service pension provision is clearly not tenable in the long-term. There is a clear need for reform.”

Lord Hutton added that in order to get the right structure in place for the new schemes, it was important that there was “effective dialogue” between public sector employers, workers and unions.

There are five main public sector pensions, with schemes for local government workers, the NHS, teachers, the civil Service and the armed forces. There is a wide variation in contribution rates across them.


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  • 16 Comments

Readers' comments (16)

  • it works elsewhere and is fairer and more attainable, why not the UK?

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  • Perhaps so, Anonymous, but it needs to be phased in over a long term.

    At 53 with more than three-quarters of my contributions made please forgive me for defending my interests. I would have had different savings etc. for years if I had known that I was going to be stabbed in the back like this.

    Oh, and I've always intended to work to at least 65.

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  • Lord Hutton obviously has no idea of life and work of a nurse. I trained when we didn't have the manual handling policies and hoists etc to help us do our job. Even though we have them now, nurses can still get injured. Just sitting a heavy patient forward in bed can be hard too. How on earth he thinks nurses will be fit enough to do the same job at 65 as they do in their 20's is beyond me. The potential nurses of the future won't bother because they will see what has been done to the ones that went before. Industrial action is definitely on the cards, and it serves this stupid government right! Idiots!!!

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  • What about all the civil servants and their "non contributory" pension schemes!! Any of that being looked at by Mr Hutton...

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  • I dont no about anybody else but I'm starting to feel a little bit paranoid. It seems to me that any cuts that have to be made are pushed in the way of public sector staff, the people who dedicate their career, and face it more time to others than family, to undertake cuts in the one thing we aim for - retirement.
    I fully understand we all have to make changes to get our economy on track but it all seems a little one sided to me. What about those who earn stupid amounts of money or would that impact too much on the conservative government and their benificiaries?

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  • I dont no about anybody else but I'm starting to feel a little bit paranoid. It seems to me that any cuts that have to be made are pushed in the way of public sector staff, the people who dedicate their career, and face it more time to others than family, to undertake cuts in the one thing we aim for - retirement.
    I fully understand we all have to make changes to get our economy on track but it all seems a little one sided to me. What about those who earn stupid amounts of money or would that impact too much on the conservative government and their benificiaries?

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  • could it be that all the cuts are being made to boost the economy and once it is back on track everything will even out again and be shared out more equally than has previously been the case as this increasingly sharp rich/poor divide is unsustainable.

    the problem seems to be that those who have been overpaid do not want to let go of what they have. it also seems, so the argument goes, that some people have to be attracted by large rewards to do their part in boosting the economy otherwise they will take their skills elsewhere, notably out of the country. this is the
    business and production sector.

    the services sector are there to support this and provide public service and not to make profits to boost the economy and therefore most of their funds should be ploughed into the vital services such as healthcare and, more questionably its management but they do not have large surpluses to reward their staff as do the private sector and this should not be expected as care and services are the priority here.

    this is the way I see it, and i believe the way Sir David Cameron the Prime Minister
    and his government presented it.

    It seems that we have little choice but to let him try out his schemes as all the previous ones have failed thus far.

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  • it seems everybody was dissatisfied with previous schemes and when the government try to introduce change to keep up with the times these are contested as well. Perhaps those who do the grumbling could come up with something better not only to suit themselves but the whole country.

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  • This governemnt is ideologically opposed to public sector support. It will not re-introduce what it is cutting when the going is better, already admitted that.
    It does tell us how little it values what we do though and it is necessary and wise to take notice of that reality.
    This governemnt would have you believe not only that the cuts are necessary but that private enterprise is the magic fairy dust to make it all better. Iin reality it lines the pockets of the few with public money.
    This is the difference of service to the community and making money out of the community.

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  • it looks as though the older ones among us were brought up to believe in one concept and the new government have totally different values regarding the NHS but who is one to believe?

    Surely though their plan has not yet been implemented and they should take more time in consultation with all the stakeholders so that we can try to produce something more equitable and fair that satisfies a majority of needs of patients well into the future.

    Surely the government must have the best interests of all the population it is serving at heart as they would not want to see more and more pensioners with inadequate pensions out on the streets begging or lacking the socio-medical care they may need. Such government failings from a G20 country would look bad to the rest of the world, although they may be more impressed by money spent on business and warfare.

    Incidentally, I wonder what percentage of the working population actually work the required number of years to qualify for full state pension or employer's as well for that matter.

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