Agreement on pension for 800,000 working for state and municipality
After long, nightly negotiations, there is agreement on a public pension scheme for 800,000 Norwegian employees working for the state and municipalities.
Late Friday evening, the negotiations were in the final stages, and during the night and early hours, the parties came to an agreement. The deal will be presented at a press conference on Saturday at 1 pm.
– We feel that we are being heard and it is a good negotiating climate, so we are optimistic that it will be a solution by Friday, union leader, Mette Nord, told NTB earlier this week.
The pension reform introduced in 2011 was only partially implemented in the public sector after the negotiations on public service pensions stranded in 2009. In the mean time, the scheme has become increasingly worse for the younger workers due to the introduction of so-called age adjustment.
After the election there were signals that the talks would be resumed, and on February 7, negotiations on the retirement pension for around 800,000 employees were initiated for the state and municipalities.
The employees have been represented by LO, Unio, YS and the Academics, while the employer’s side has been represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, KS, Spekter and the Municipality of Oslo.
The agreement, as it is now agreed upon, will be ratified after voting in the various associations has been held.
Early Retirement Plan (AFP)
The parties met on Friday at noon for a final negotiation meeting in the office of Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Anniken Hauglies (Conservatives). Late Friday night, it was still uncertain whether the negotiations would be concluded or end in another break.
The details of the agreement are not public knowledge yet, but after what NTB has been informed, the parties agreed to introduce an AFP scheme in the public sector, which is largely similar to the one in the private sector, but with a so-called conditional retirement pension plan baked in. It will ensure the right to a lifelong supplement to the National Insurance Scheme for those who are not entitled to ordinary AFP, and it was one of the most important demands of the Employers Organization during the negotiations.
In the public sector today, the AFP scheme is purely an early retirement scheme for those who have to retire early and employees can not, as in the private sector, both take out AFP and continue to work at the same time.
Among the issues that have been the most difficult during the negotiations is the requirement for a separate early retirement plan for those unable to work after 62 years old, as well as changing rules for occupational groups with special age limits, such as the police and nurses.
Facts about public occupational pensions
- Since February 7, the parties in the public sector have negotiated a revised public service pension. The deadline for reaching an agreement expired on Friday, March 2.
- In the negotiations, the employer’s side has been represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, KS, Spekter and Oslo, while the employees have been represented by LO, Unio, YS and the Academics.
- The pension reform introduced in 2011 was only partially implemented in the public sector after the negotiations on a public service pension plan stranded in 2009.
- An attempt at negotiations in the spring of 2016 stalled after the ministry rejected the claim for the right to go to strike regarding retirement pensions.
- Public occupational pensions were once upon a time referred to as a “golden pension” which guaranteed employees 66 percent of the highest salary in their careers after 30 years of employment. The introduction of age adjustment in 2011 has made the scheme gradually worse for young employees.
- The facilitation of a revised Early Retirement Scheme (AFP) in the public sector, coordination with the National Insurance Scheme, special age limits for some occupational groups, phasing out of previous schemes and what should be included as a pension basis have been among the major topics during the negotiations.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today