Fair Pensions for All

On 30 November, over two and a half million public sector workers took industrial action over changes to their occupational pensions. The government wants to make them pay more, work longer and get less pension when they retire. But these same attacks are facing everyone, regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector.

Click here to view pics, vids and media coverage of the march in Bournemouth

The government has already weakened our pension system by changing the way in which pensions rise each year – using the lower Consumer Price Index rather than the usual Retail Price Index – and by raising the state retirement age for men and women to 66 by 2020 – with plans to raise it to 68 and beyond over the coming decades.

That is why it is important that this action is not seen simply as just one group taking action for themselves. The Fair Pensions For All campaign seeks to improve all pensions – state, public and private sector – for everyone.

Britain has a poor record on pensions:

* The basic state pension is £5311 a year
* The average local government pension is £4119 a year
* The average civil service pension is £4200 a year
* The average private sector pension is £5860 a year

But the executives of Britain’s top 100 companies can expect an average pension when they retire of £175,000 a year.

The campaign must therefore tackle this gross pensions’ inequality – or risk seeing millions of existing and future pensioners living in poverty.

The changes to pensions should also be seen as part of the government’s wider attack on public spending, benefits and services. All the evidence shows that it is those with the least who are being asked to pay the highest price for the failure of the financial system. Pensioners, students, disabled people, the unemployed and families on modest incomes are all facing rising costs of living and falling incomes.

Over the last year:

* Wages have been frozen for millions of workers
* Tuition fees have risen and support for students has been reduced
* The numbers receiving disability benefits are being cut by 20%
* Unemployment has risen to nearly 3m people and youth unemployment is rising fastest
* Care services and benefits for older people, like the winter fuel allowance have been cut
* Nearly 250,000 jobs have been lost from education, local government and the NHS

Clearly we are not all in this together! Those at the top: politicians, company bosses and bankers are doing very well, whilst the majority are being told to pay for their mistakes. We must join together and campaign to end the cuts to our welfare state and public services.

The March and Rally in Bournemouth was supported by:

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Trades Council
“Uniting the Community”