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Union dismisses nurse pension claims

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Claims that public sector workers’ pensions are unaffordable have described as ‘misrepresentative’ and a ‘myth’ by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Critics such as business groups, right wing pressure groups and opposition politicians had misrepresented figures by presenting future commitment to public sector pensions as a massive final demand bill that had to be paid in one go, said the union organisation.

The TUC said public sector pensions cost less than state pensions and long term care and no easy, quick savings could be made from changing the existing level of payments.

General secretary Brendan Barber said the majority of public sector pensioners received a ‘modest’ pension of less than £5,000 a year, but the figure was £4,000 for local government workers and £3,500 for half of women on NHS pensions.

He added: ‘Many private sector employers have cut or abandoned decent pensions for their staff. The result is many people at work today will face a big drop in their living standards when they retire.

‘Now employer groups and opposition politicians say public sector pensions should be levelled down so that Britain’s nurses, teachers and other vital public sector staff should face the same hardship when they retire.’

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