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'LOW PAID WOMEN THE REAL VICTIMS OF CUTS TO PENSION RIGHTS'

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Hundreds of thousands of low paid women workers are set to bear the brunt of proposed government cuts to the Local ...
Hundreds of thousands of low paid women workers are set to bear the brunt of proposed government cuts to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Delegates at Friday's Unison women's conference in Gateshead heard how both the state pension and the LGPS are discriminatory against women and will result in pushing many below the poverty line in retirement.

Unsion and nine other unions are fighting to make the government and the Local Government Association see sense over their proposed changes to the 85 Rule, which currently enables LGPS members to retire at 60 with a full pension if their service and age add up to 85.

Figures from the New Policy Institute yesterday show the government would be worse off by£2bn every year if the LGPS did not exist - that is twice as much as the scheme pays out.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: 'Most LGPS members are women who may not earn much but who make a huge contribution to our public services. Sitting behind the cold government assessment that we can't afford pensions anymore are the real faces of people such as dinner ladies, nursery school and teaching assistants and cleaners who did the right thing and took 6% out of their often meagre salaries to provide for their own future.

'But now those councils who took pension holidays in the eighties and nineties are trying to hide their financial mismanagement by forcing these women to cough up the difference.

'When the government examined the issue of women's pensions in November last year, it concluded that the situation was a national scandal.

'These women have been utterly committed to saving for their retirement - there has been no pension holiday for them.

'The government must rectify this pensions inequity and protect LGPS pension rights, as it has done for the rest of the public sector.'

Note

* 73% of LGPS members are women

* Their average pension is just£31 a week

* Nearly 60% of them work part-time

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