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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Flexibility Needed from UK Gov on Pension Reform

Monday, 22 April 2013

SNP Welfare spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP has urged the coalition government to show flexibility on pension reform during a Westminster debate on the Public Pensions Bill today.

The House of Commons debated amendments by the House of Lords on the Public Service Pensions Bill based on findings of Lord Hutton’s Pension Reform Report which recommended a lower retirement age for “uniformed services” such a fire fighters, police and the Armed Forces. The report however failed to include Defence Fire and Rescue Service fire fighters and MOD police officers.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“It is inconsistent that the Public Service Pensions Bill sets a normal retirement age of 60 for uniformed services, including the Armed Forces, civilian police and fire fighters, and yet links their counterparts in defence to the state retirement age, projected to be at least 68.

“The House of Lords passed an amendment that would’ve ended the discrepancy of a different retirement age, providing equality for Defence Police and Fire and Rescue Services who play an important role on the front line in the UK and overseas.

“The UK government have failed to make a case for higher pension age for uniformed services in the defence sector; they need to follow the spirit of Lord Hutton’s changes to this discrepancy by supporting the Lords amendment.”

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