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Norwegian public sector pensions reform gets thumbs up from union

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Norway’s plan to reform its public sector staff pension scheme has received backing from trade unions and employer organisations.

The necessary legislation to enact the proposals will now be drafted, the government announced this week.

The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne) told the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs last Thursday that it agreed to the pact which was signed by the ministry on March 3 on a new pension solution for public sector employees.

The March agreement was hammered out by the ministry and labour and employer organisations LO, Unio, YS, Akademikerne, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and Spekter.

Anniken Hauglie, Norway’s minister of labour and social affairs, said a new pension scheme was absolutely necessary in order to ensure a good level of pension for public employees in the future.

“The fact that the approval has been so clear will make further work on this easier,” Hauglie added. “The department will now draft a consultation document, which will be sent out in the autumn, with a proposal for the necessary changes in the law.”

The issue of creating a new pension scheme for public sector workers has been debated in Norway for almost a decade.

The old scheme was unsatisfactory mainly because changes made in 2009 to account for rising longevity meant members born in or after 1959 had much lower pensions than those born before.

Among other things, the proposed new scheme makes it easier from a pensions point of view for people to move between the public and private sectors during their careers.

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