Conservative peer Baroness Eaton has attacked chancellor George Osborne's plans to raise public sector pension contributions by an average of 3%, warning they will lead to mass opt-outs from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), The Observer has reported.
Eaton, Conservative chair of the Local Government Association, warned there would be a 'significant level of opt-outs' from the 3.5 million-member LGPS, which would call into question the scheme's 'sustainability and viability' and harm the economy, according to the paper.
She warned opt-outs would lead to the state picking up the bill of 'further reliance on the state via means-tested benefits in retirement' and the increase in pension contributions was likely to lead to 'a significant worsening in industrial relations'.
Osborne announced the public sector pension measures in the comprehensive spending review last year. The government also commissioned former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hutton to deliver an independent review of public sector pensions. The Independent Public Sector Pension Commission's initial report last year suggested raising contributions but did not name a figure.