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Pension Rights and Age Discrimination – 8 February 2012

In July 2010, the Public Sector Pensions Commission, led by right wing think tank ‘The Institute of Economic Affairs’ and private bosses club ‘The Institute of Directors’ published their findings into the funding of public sector pensions. It’s no surprise, given the membership of the Commission, that they found a raft of so-called problems with public sector pensions. But take a closer look and you’re forced to ask – do these problems really exist?

As the TUC response to the Commission states ‘The government’s own figures for projected expenditure on public sector pensions shows that it is neither an unsupportable burden on future generations, nor that it is out of control.’ On the contrary, public sector pension schemes are neither “gold plated” nor short of funds.

Yet the Coalition is pushing ahead with its ideological based attack on pension provisions. The TUC estimate that the proposed changes to the way pensions are calculated, switching from the retail prices index to the consumer prices index, will result in severe losses (around £655 a year) for pensioners, both now and in the future. Such drastic changes could not go unchallenged and 6 trade unions took a judicial review in an attempt to stop the government’s unilateral changes. By the time this conference takes place, we will know the outcome of that challenge. We will also have seen the response to the TUC supported day of coordinated action against cuts in pension provision in the public sector.

By February we will also have some experience of the impact of the removal of the default retirement age, due to come into force in October 2011. The Institute’s half day seminar invites you to hear expert legal, economic and political arguments about the future of pension rights and age discrimination, and offers a timely opportunity to join the debate on this vital topic affecting all our futures.

Please visit the Institute of Employment Rights website for more information.