'Fair pensions for all' call by Plaid MP


UK Government public sector pension proposals condemned

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has called for ‘Fair Pensions for All’ and has welcomed a newly published pamphlet on the subject by pensions campaigners, including the National Pensioners Convention, National Union of Teachers (NUT), University and College Union (UCU) and the public and commercial services union, PCS.

The pamphlet argues that the impact of changes to pension provision in both the private and public sector will drive many pensioners into poverty, especially with sharply rising energy costs, and reveals that UK pensioner poverty is amongst the worst in Europe, with only Cyprus, Latvia and Estonia having greater levels of pensioner poverty.

Mr Williams said:

“I am very concerned by the direction of pension policy during recent years which implies that older people should be grateful to receive support during their twilight years.

“The fact is that workers pay into pensions throughout their lives through salary contributions and so this money is actually income deferred which is then invested so that they will have a decent standard of living when they reach retirement.

“The current proposals for public sector pensions are that employees should work for more years, pay more of their current salaries into contributions and then receive less money at the end of it than first expected.

“It doesn’t take a genius to see why such a proposal is not acceptable to many workers who are understandably upset that they are paying for the mistakes of the financial sector that got us into this financial and economic mess.

“This is especially the case as public sector pensions were re-negotiated only four years ago and a recent government commission found that they were both affordable and sustainable.

“Plaid Cymru fought the last general election on the idea of a living pension which would end pensioner poverty, but instead of moving towards a fairer pensions system we have had to spend the last eighteen months defending our current pension provision against the Con-Dem government in London.”


Hywel Williams MP and Plaid Cymru colleagues tabled an Early Day Motion in September on the subject of public sector pension changes:

That this House notes that public sector pension funds have already been re-negotiated to ensure financial sustainability; further notes that the new changes proposed are primarily to reduce spending from the public purse and will lead to a decrease in pension payments to individuals; further notes that the proposed changes will force many public sector workers out of their pension schemes due to the additional payments making public sector pension funds unsustainable in the medium term; and calls on the Government to reconsider its proposals, agree a pension solution that encourages membership to ensure a sustainable public sector pension system and avoids forcing hard-pressed public sector employees into industrial action. 

Hywel Williams was a member of the Public Bill Committee on the Pensions Bill in June and July 2011.


The ‘Fair Pensions For All’ pamphlet can be downloaded here: