30 March 2012
TO:Â Â Â ALL MEMBERS
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL STATEMENT: PENSIONS
Please find below an Executive Council Statement that was agreed yesterday following a discussion around the latest developments on Firefighter pensions. Executive Council members will now report back in detail on this and other aspects of these discussions. Â Further reports will be also issued in due course on our work around the two reviews agreed through these discussions.
Statement on Pensions 29 March 2012
The Executive Council has met today to discuss developments on pensions.
The Executive Council acknowledges that the year one (2012-2013) employee contribution increases for the Firefightersâ€™ Pension Scheme and the New Firefightersâ€™ Pension Scheme are significantly reduced compared to those originally proposed in public consultation. The Executive Council also acknowledges the terms of reference and timescales for the Review of Opt-Outs and Review of Normal Pension Age and that these have now been endorsed by the Firefighters Pensions Committee. The Executive Council recognises that these reviews offer a potential mechanism for addressing some of the key occupationally specific concerns for pensions in the Fire and Rescue Service.
We are extremely disappointed that firefightersâ€™ pension contribution rates have been increased at all against the backdrop of the highest employee contribution rates in public sector schemes already being paid by firefighters and on top of nearly three years of pay freeze. We are also disappointed that these increases have been introduced in advance of the review of opt outs.
However, the Executive Council sees the reduced level of increases as an indication that the Westminster Government has, to some degree at least, listened to the representations being made by the FBU.
In the light of these latest developments, the Executive Council recommends that there should be no immediate move towards a strike ballot and that the Union should:
Â All members are asked to monitor these developments closely and to ensure their views are made known through our Branch and Committee structure. Our concerns over proposals for our pensions remain unchanged and therefore the lawful trade dispute with the four Governments in the UK remains live. The Executive Council will be immediately reconvened in the event of any further significant developments ahead of the reviews and will in any case meet regularly to review progress.