University pension plans put on hold

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SHEFFIELD University has put on hold plans to cut the pensions of its lowest-paid staff after local MPs - with the exception of Nick Clegg - urged a rethink.

The university’s decision-making council says it wants more time to reflect on the plans, despite university management recommending they should be approved. The university had proposed its final-salary scheme for support staff be shut down for both current and new members.

Unison and Unite warn they will ballot for industrial action if the plans are implemented.

The unions say the new pension scheme would give a support staff earning £15,000 a year an annual pension of £3,750, down from £7,500 under current arrangements.

Mike Robinson, national education officer for Unite, said: “This is a small but important victory. It gives everyone more time. The campaign was boosted by all Sheffield MPs bar Nick Clegg, writing to the vice-chancellor Keith Burnett urging a rethink.”

A university spokesman said: “Following lengthy discussion by members of council it was agreed more time was required to reflect further on the proposals.”