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UK minister proposes new-look local government pension scheme

UK local government minister Phil Woolas has proposed a new-look local government pension scheme in a bid to rectify some of the anticipated problems surrounding the recent pension reforms.

The scheme aims to ensure that it is viable and fair to taxpayers who guarantee its security, while simultaneously delivering a commitment to decent and secure pension provisions for local government employees.

The reforms are intended to meet the demands of the ever-changing challenges imposed by increases in life expectancy and extended working lives. These reforms, it is hoped, will help stabilize costs without incurring extra costs for council tax payers.

Under the proposals, the new-look scheme would also be equality-proofed, to provide fairly for the variety of employments in and around local government, and comply with anti-discrimination law.

The scheme is expected to attract more lower-paid, and predominantly female, staff with short periods of local government employment and address some of the equity issues within the scheme relating to variations in pay, and full-time and part-time working.

Mr Woolas said: The proposals put forward today are the result of extensive consultations with employers, unions, and other local government stakeholders. We believe this represents a decent pension scheme providing affordable benefits to all scheme members.