Chief secretary to the Treasury has urged public sector workers to accept the pensions deal they are being offered by the government.
The minister insisted reform of the system was unavoidable and it would be a “colossal mistake” to spurn the offer which he warned would be the best “for years to come”.
His warning comes amid the threat of strike action from various public sector unions unhappy that their members are being forced to accept pension deals which will mean staff paying more and working longer.
However, the government argues that the public sector needs to follow the private sector and accept that the economic circumstances and an ageing population mean the pensions currently provided in the public sector are no longer affordable.
Mr Alexander urged rank-and-file union members to help “shape” the current reforms now or face “uncompromising” change later.
Under the proposals final salary pensions would be replaced by those based on career-average earnings, which would still be more generous than many private sector workers enjoy as the sector has largely moved to defined contribution pension schemes in which employees shoulder the risk of fluctuating savings investments.
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