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Government offers new public sector pensions deal

Public sector pension scheme members are being offered an 8% improvement on their post-retirement income as the Government seeks to win the backing of unions.

Ministers have improved their offer on public sector pension reform in a bid to stave off major strikes scheduled for 30 November, which the BMA is not to participate in, but will support.

This afternoon chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the House of Commons that he has offered TUC negotiators two sweeteners to the original deal based on Lord Hutton’s recommendations.

Mr Alexander said that the ‘cost ceiling’ of the whole scheme would be raised under the new offer. The pension accrual rate will be one 60th, representing an 8% increase on the previous offer he says.

The other new element is that current scheme members who are 10 years or less away from retirement will have their original rights and benefits protected.

The offer, Mr Alexander told MPs, was contingent on the trade unions accepting the deal as a whole and the new elements could be withdrawn if they refused.

A BMA statement on the offer is expected shortly.