Thursday, 7 October 2010

NUT general secretary: act now to protect your pension

This message has just been sent to National Union of Teachers (NUT) members, from the union's general secretary Christine Blower:

'I'm writing to ask you to act now to help the NUT protect your pension.

As you may know, John Hutton reported today to the Government on the future of public sector pensions. He believes that public sector workers must pay more towards their pensions and that pension schemes should be "reformed" in other ways which would significantly cut your pension entitlement at retirement.

At a time when public sector pay is being frozen, an extra 2% pension contribution would cost a newly qualified teacher around £30 a month and an experienced classroom teacher on UPS3 almost twice that.

The Government is already proposing other pension cuts by linking your pension to CPI inflation rather than RPI inflation. That will cut many thousands of pounds from your retirement income. A retired teacher on a £10,000 pension would lose over £35,000 over the course of the average retirement, while a serving teacher who retires on a £20,000 pension would lose over £70,000.

In fact, teachers' pensions are both fair and affordable. Changes were made to the Teachers' Pension Scheme in 2007 that resulted in higher contributions from all teachers, a higher pension age of 65 for new entrants and a limit on employer contributions. These changes restrict the scheme's long-term costs at or below the current level.

I urge you, therefore, to contact your MP and ask them to oppose these proposed cuts to teachers' pensions. Click here to send a letter to your MP simply by entering your postcode.

Your pension stands between you and poverty in retirement. Teachers' pensions are not "gold plated" - the average teachers' pension in payment at present is only £10,000. But they are your recompense, paid for by you and your employer, for a lifetime of service as a teacher. Cutting public sector pensions won't help private sector employees in retirement. It will just shift the burden of supporting even more pensioners to the state. We need decent pensions for all.

Please help us to protect your pension and that of your colleagues.'


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