Conservative Party plans to abolish public sector final salary pensions would destroy "the best pension schemes in Britain", argues Pensions Minister Mike O'Brien.
His comments were made in response to a speech yesterday by Tory leader David Cameron in which he described the “very generous” final salary schemes as “not appropriate”.
Cameron said in The Daily Telegraph he was concerned "there is going to be a very big divide between public sector pensions on the one hand and private sector pensions on the other”.
However, O’Brien says scrapping the schemes would send the wrong signal to the employers of hundreds of thousands of workers who remain in final salary pension schemes that the Conservatives don’t care about them and are prepared to reduce their income in retirement.
He says: “Although the numbers in final salary schemes have declined from eight million in the 1960s to around three million now, many workers in the private sector remain in final salary schemes.
“In the new Pensions Bill, Labour has just introduced deregulatory measures to encourage employers to remain in these gold-standard schemes. Only a few weeks ago, the Tories claimed to welcome these, and wanted us to go further to keep defined benefit schemes."
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