Firm recommendations have not yet been made - but the threats to our pay and pensions are clear:
- INCREASING THE RETIREMENT AGE
- PAYING MORE FOR OUR PENSION
But Hutton admits that expenditure on pensions “will remain close to current levels” based on existing agreements. In other words, it’s not that our pensions have suddenly become unaffordable. No, the hole in Government finances is down to the huge cost of paying off the bankers’ ‘gambling debts’. Our higher contributions wouldn’t be paying for our pensions - but to pay off their debts.
We must not let ourselves be robbed in the same way as many private sector employees who have seen their employers renege on pension agreements. Instead of allowing a ‘race to the bottom’ on cutting pensions, we have to stand together and demand decent pensions for all.
- RECEIVING LESS WHEN WE RETIRE
Hutton says he is worried about the ‘unfairness’ of the teachers’ ‘final-salary’ pension schemes - which benefit staff who are promoted towards the end of their careers - and wants to examine ‘career average’ schemes instead. If it was just a matter of making technical changes to recalculate pension payouts, then the pros and cons could be examined. But ‘career-average’ salaries need to be based on a realistic index-linking to take account of inflation throughout a working lifetime - not the CPI. So, if it’s not done correctly, a ‘career average’ could easily just mean reduced pensions in retirement.
He also complains that our pensions are “a barrier to non-public service providers ... and innovation in public service delivery”. In short, privateers want to pay less! Another reason to oppose Academies.
- TIME TO PREPARE UNITED ACTION
If the Government detects any sign of weakness, they will push ahead with their pension attacks. We have to build our own ‘coalition’ of opposition - and prepare joint industrial action to defend pensions.