Mr Gibb, don't take us for fools on pensions

It would be really heartening just once to read an honest account of what the Government is offering teachers in the pensions "negotiations". Sadly, schools minister Nick Gibb's article was not ("Teachers' pensions are still the best around", 11 November).

The blatant dishonesty of the Government claim, which Mr Gibb repeats, that teachers will be able to access better pensions as a result of the Government's offer, is a sad reflection on both him and the Government he serves. It also speaks volumes about the disdain he has for the teaching profession in thinking that such assertions might persuade teachers of the claim's validity.

Let's put this straight: for a teacher earning #163;37,000 to receive a pension of #163;25,200, they would have to have worked without a break in service (so that rules out a very large percentage of women) until the age of 68. A teacher earning #163;37,000 and retiring at the age of 60 under present circumstances would receive a pension of #163;19,100. If that same teacher were to retire at 60 under the Government's proposed scheme, their pension would be #163;13,800, which represents a clear cut of #163;5,300.

Please don't take us for fools, Mr Gibb.

John Walder, Canterbury, Kent.

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