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Webb hits out at ‘glib’ Tory pension ideas

Liberal Democrat Shadow work and pensions minister Steve Webb has accused the Conservatives of coming up with glib solutions to the public sector pension timebomb.

At the LibDem conference at The Institute of Directors’ fringe event, Webb said the Tories’ proposal to move from final-salary public sector pensions to money-purchase schemes had not been thought through and should not be done in the current climate.

He said: “One of the problems with doing that, say with the MPs’ pension scheme, is that you have still got to pay the pensions currently in payment but you have also got to find the money now to invest for tomorrow’s pensioners as well, so just at a time of fiscal crisis you are going to bring forward all your liabilities. That is an example of how easy it is to come up with glib solutions to these things.”

Webb said he would like to see a system where the public sector employee is paid a basic pension and if they want to have early retirement, indexation or survivor’s benefits on top of that, they can pay for it at the true cost.

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