I really must endorse Mike Woodall’s call to get on with reforming public sector pensions. The last review kicked off in 2003 and resulted in the changes which were implemented in 2009. These were a massive missed opportunity, a squandered chance to create a public sector pension scheme which was fair for members and tax payers and fit for the future. But in the end we just ended up with another ‘fudge’ with a minimal tweaking of contribution rates resulting in an overall member increase of 0.3% and some minor amendment of benefits.
With around 300,000 more members participating in public sector schemes between 2006 to 2008 the problem is just getting bigger. I’ve already commented in this blog on the financial implications this issue is likely to have on our exit from recession, (“A Rock and a very hard place!!”) but now this is firmly in the political domain it just seems to be too much of a hot potato, especially with an election looming.
I agree with Anthony Mayer from the London Pensions Fund Authority that an independent commission needs to be established to properly consider the alternatives. This needs to be soon, especially given previous implementation timescales, needs to be truly independent and the Government needs to commit to implementing an agreed solution which will have a material impact and not another ‘confectionary solution.’