GMB Object To MPs Escaping Pensions Contributions Increase Of 1.85% From April.
Public sector workers and the public will be furious at any special treatment of MPs as there is no reason why they should not be subject to the same reforms that apply in the rest of the public sector
GMB, the union for public sector workers, responded to media reports that MPs will escape the pension reforms that are being imposed on many public sector workers.
Brian Strutton GMB National Secretary for Public Services said “Reports that a planned contribution increase 1.85% for this April has been suspended for MPs whilst an on-going review of pensions is conducted will dismay hard pressed public sector workers who have been forced to take an average 3.2% contribution increases.
Public sector workers and the general public will quite rightly be furious at any apparent special treatment of MPs. There is no reason why they should not be subject to the same reforms that have been developed across the rest of the public sector.
No such suspension was applied whilst the Hutton Review and subsequent negotiations were carried out, with Osborne's pension tax being implemented from 2012. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is reported as saying that the suspension is justified by MPs already paying high contributions.
Osborne's pension tax was applied indiscriminately across the unfunded schemes regardless of how much each public sector group was already paying - so why should the MPs position make them a special case?
Where detrimental contribution increases were avoided in local government, this was on the proviso that long term reform was agreed in advance. So why should MPs be seen to benefit in a way that other public sector workers could not?
IPSA are also reported as saying that a change is unjustified whilst a wholesale review is underway. Whilst GMB would agree with this sentiment it grates that this view has been ignored by government in the context of public sector pension reform in recent years.
It is time for IPSA to be seen to act to ensure that MPs pensions and contributions can be aligned with those of public sector colleagues."
Contact: Phil McEvoy, GMB Pensions Department on 07918 768773 or Brian Strutton, GMB Public Services Section Secretary on 07860 606 137 of GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 020 7391 6756/55.