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Civil Service Pensions

Volume 558: debated on Wednesday 6 February 2013

7. What estimate he has made of the potential savings to the Exchequer from the Government’s proposed reforms to civil service pensions. [R] (141659)

The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that this Government’s reforms of public service pensions will deliver more than £430 billion of savings over the next 50 years.

The Minister’s answer is good news for taxpayers, who include many of the 13 million people in this country without a pension at all, but it is also important that public sector workers receive a good pension. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the revised structure is still a defined benefit one and that it is fairer to part-time workers, who are often women, and to lower-paid workers?

Public sector pensions, after the reforms are fully in place, will remain among the very best available. That is right and we are strongly in support of it, but the cost was out of control. It is now back under control.

What discussions are the Government having with trade unions representing civil servants to ensure the smoothest possible transition?

We have regular discussions at official and ministerial level with the civil service unions, which, for the most part, have adopted a constructive approach and want the change to be introduced as smoothly as possible. Those discussions continue.