To: ALL MEMBERS
WELSH GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS IMPROVEMENT IN PENSION PROPOSALS
Members will be aware that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved powers in relation to firefighters pension proposals. The FBU has already explored this and achieved some improvements compared to the current DCLG proposals.
In Scotland the improvement means that;
- The legislation will include a regulation that the FBU have been requesting to satisfy our concerns in relation to the no job no pension threat.
- Improved protection arrangements based on length of service and age.
- A fairer actuarial reduction at age 55 instead of the more punitive 21.8% that is being imposed by DCLG.
- An assurance that Scottish government will match any further improvements proposed by DCLG.
In Northern Ireland the improvement is in relation to the normal pension age for the 2015 scheme where it will be age 55 instead of age 60 which has been imposed everywhere else.
The Welsh government has been discussing various issues with the FBU for a significant period and recently consulted on a proposal that gave the option of a fairer actuarial reduction at age 55 (9% instead of the more punitive 21.8% that is being imposed by DCLG).
The union received notification today that the 2015 firefighters pension scheme proposal for Wales will include an improved actuarial reduction for firefighters retiring at age 55.
This is a significant improvement in the proposal and will be welcomed by FBU members in Wales.
The union is continuing to fight for improvements in all the UK wide proposals, which are restricted by the cost ceiling imposed by HM Treasury and DCLG.
This welcomed move by the Welsh government demonstrates that improvements are possible when both sides sit down and discuss workable options.
It should send a message to DCLG and Penny Mordaunt that firefighters in England are getting a much worse deal in their pension under the DCLG proposals and that this is totally unacceptable, unfair and unworkable.
While the FBU is still discussing areas of concern with representatives from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales the situation in England is still frustrating. DCLG are continuing to refuse to meet the FBU despite our written request and are still standing behind the Parliamentary guarantee that the FBU has exposed as a complete lie.
In relation to the revised position in Wales, the union will now prepare briefing information so that members are fully aware of the different position. Clearly, this step does not address all the concerns the union has but it nevertheless is a significant development which FBU members will need to consider in detail.