Guernsey public sector pensions face major reforms

Ed Freestone
Image caption Mr Freestone said the solution was the best that could be negotiated

Public sector workers in Guernsey face an increase in contributions, a rise in retirement age and a reduction of benefits from January 2014.

A Joint Working Group, set up in 2011, has proposed that the current final salary scheme should be replaced with a career average scheme.

If the proposals are accepted without amendment by States members, the retirement age will rise to 65.

Contribution rates for members would also increase from 6.5% to 8%.

The group, led by independent chairman Rodney Benjamin, agreed the proposals at their meeting on Monday.

'Best solution'

Mr Benjamin said: "I am pleased that a consensus decision has been reached on an appropriate way forward for the provision of public sector pensions in Guernsey."

Ed Freestone, the chairman of the Association of States Employee Organisations, is also a member of the working group.

He said: "This is a proposal which represents the best solution which we could negotiate on behalf of members."

He also said the proposals "should protect staff from old age poverty".

The state pension age in Guernsey is due to rise from 65 to 67 in 2031 and it has been proposed that the public sector retirement age should increase by the same margin at that stage.

Most public sector workers are currently eligible to receive a pension at 60, though some in the emergency services become eligible at 55.

Under the proposals, police and firefighters will have a normal pension age of 60, rising to 62 in 2031.

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