COLLEGE employers have blamed trade union campaigning for ending early retirement options for hundreds of lecturers, writes Alan Thomson.
The Association of Colleges said it was "extremely disappointed" by trade unions' role in lobbying the Government over controversial changes to the Teachers' Superannuation Scheme.
The Government is pressing on with plans to reform the TSS, which will pass more of the cost of early retirements on to colleges. To soften the blow the AoC called on the Government to reduce the amount colleges would pay to people in the period between taking early retirement and reaching statutory pension age.
The AoC said that the union's successful campaign against this move meant that they would be able to offer very few early retirements.
Joan Gordon, pensions officer for lecturers' union Natfhe, said that Natfhe agreed that the TSS proposals unfairly increased early retirement costs to colleges but she said that, by seeking to cut early retirement payments, employers would condemn many former lecturers to poverty. A judicial review of the TSS plans is due on August .