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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   

18th October 2005





The government and unions have agreed a way forward today on changes to the pension schemes of health workers, civil servants and teachers.

Amicus has welcomed agreement on the framework that will underpin negotiations on changes to the various schemes which guarantees lifetime protection for existing scheme members with no detriment to their pension terms or their existing pension age of 55 or 60.

Today's agreement gives the go-ahead for other scheme specific negotiations that will set up the pension scheme for new entrants. The normal pension age for new entrants will be 65, although there will be scope for earlier retirement on full pensions through agreed increases to contributions.

The health, civil service and education schemes will continue as defined benefits which are linked to earnings and index linked. There is no push from government to an end to final salary schemes and there is an agreement that any changes will be decided by negotiation with the trade unions.

The union now wants this framework agreement to form the basis for discussions on pension changes proposed for the local authority and the further and higher education schemes.

Gail Cartmail, Amicus National Officer for Health, said:“Our members felt betrayed by the proposal for a compulsory increase to the pension age. They signed up to their schemes on the basis of an agreed retirement age which the earlier proposals would have snatched away.

“This agreement is fully funded by government. The framework represents a very welcome change of heart and it needs to be used as a starting point for discussions for proposed changes to the local authority and further and higher education schemes.

“This agreement recognises that promises should not be broken and that frontline public sector workers are entitled to good quality pensions as a part of their pay package and will help offset problems in retention and recruitment in key professions.”

Amicus has over 100,000 public sector members. Negotiations with government on proposed changes to the local authority scheme are due to begin next month. - Ends –

For further information please contact Catherine Bithell in the Amicus press office on 020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224