Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good Occupational Pensions for all?

The intermittently worthwhile "UNISON Active blog" (hampered only by its contributors frequent inability to identify themselves) reports on the decision of the Irish Government to bring together its public sector pension schemes.

The consolidation of pension funds could achieve economies of scale of course - but those economies would to some extent be at the expense of UNISON members employed in pension sections so it's not necessarily good news. As I said in a letter to yesterday's Guardian I think that we should also be considering how to bridge the gap between public and private sectors.

Private companies can already, in certain circumstances, become and "admitted body" to the Local Government Pension Scheme. If the limits on which bodies could be admitted to the fund (set out in the 2008 Admin Regulations) were relaxed to permit private employers to be admitted then, over time, it would be possible to develop the LGPS as a "Peoples Pension".

There would be significant costs for the private employers who wanted to join the fund - but decent pension provision does not come cheap.

Is this not a better campaign objective than just retreating and retrenching with a view to limiting the damage which will be done in the next attack upon public sector pensions?

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