UNISON's LGPS 2014 Ballot

To inform members on the details of the proposals the Branch has arranged for members to be able to attend the following presentations being delivered by other UNISON Branches within Staffordshire.

7th August 11:30 - Cannock Civic Centre, Beecroft Road, Cannock
7th August 13:30 - Craddock Room, Stafford Borough Council, Civic Offices, Riverside
9th August 12:30 - Stoke City Council, Council Chamber, Stoke Town Hall
13th August 12:00 - White Room, Stafford County Buildings, Martin Street, Stafford
13th August 13:00 - White Room, Stafford County Buildings, Martin Street, Stafford
16th August 12:00 - 7th Floor Meeting Room, Wedgwood Building, Tipping Street, Stafford **
16th August 13:00 - 7th Floor Meeting Room, Wedgwood Building, Tipping Street, Stafford ** 

**The 7th floor meeting room is not suitable for anyone with access problems as the lift only goes to the 6th floor

If you are unable to attend one of the briefings please take the time to read and digest the summary of the proposals below, and ensure that you return your ballot paper as early as possible, it is important we see a good turnout in the ballot.

THE NATIONAL SERVICE GROUP EXECUTIVE VOTED ON 19 JULY 2012 TO RECOMMEND ACCEPTANCE OF THIS PACKAGE.

ALL BALLOT PAPERS WILL BE GOING TO HOME ADDRESSES. 

LGPS 2014 – SUMMARY

  1. For current scheme members, all pension benefits before 1 April 2014 are protected, and will still be calculated on your final pensionable salary on leaving service or retirement.
  2. From 1 April 2014 move to a ‘career average’ scheme – using all your pensionable pay to calculate your pension, increased in line with the Consumer Price Index.
  3. An improved 1/49 Accrual rate will mean your pension builds up faster each year. This is a significant improvement on the 1/60 rate in the LGPS 2008 scheme.
  4. Pensionable pay will mean all your pensionable earnings and includes non-contractual overtime and additional hours – this is a clear improvement and means more of your earnings will count towards your pension.
  5. Your Employee Contribution rate – 90% of members will pay the same or lower contributions than they do now Only those earning more than £43,001 a year will pay more.
  6. Most part time workers will pay less in the LGPS 2014, especially low-paid part-time females which make up a high percentage of UNISON members, because contribution bands will be based on your actual pensionable earnings – not the full-time equivalent as now.
  7. Each member’s normal pension age for pensions built up in LGPS 2014 would be 65 or their state pension age – whichever is higher.
  8. Contribution Flexibility – If you cannot afford to pay the full contributions, you can opt at any time, after 1 April 2014, to take the 50-50 option – paying half the rate for your contribution band in exchange for half the pension in those years, but with full benefits, such as death in service lump sum and ill health pension protection.
  9. You can opt back to paying full contributions and earning the full pension rate again at any time.
  10. The existing Rule of 85 protections will still apply.
  11. Members aged 55 or over on 1 April 2012 will have your pension compared with what you would have got in the existing scheme and increased if necessary when you retire.
  12. If you face a compulsory transfer (TUPE) from your public sector employment to a private or voluntary sector employer, you will still be able to remain a member of the Local Government Pension scheme.

UNISON is recommending acceptance of the proposed new scheme to all our members in Local Government.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO VOTE IN THIS BALLOT – THE CLOSING DATE IS NOON ON FRIDAY 24 AUGUST 2012.

Full details of the LGPS 2014 proposals are available at: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/lgps.asp

Yours sincerely

Steve Elsey
Branch Secretary