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£5.2m pensions overspend 'not predictable' says Minister

MHK calls on government to take tougher stance in union talks

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare says an overspend of £5.2 million on pensions could not have been predicted.

Mr Teare will next week ask Tynwald to approve transferring that sum from the Public Service Employees Pension Reserve, to top-up payments to retired government workers.

He says the shortfall is due to rising numbers of staff taking early retirement, transferring their pensions elsewhere, or claiming the maximum lump sum.

The bill for public sector pensions in the past year is put at £58.4 million, against a budget of £26 million. In February, £27 million was transferred, to bridge the gap. 

Mr Teare admits there will be fewer people paying in and more money going out, but says the issues are being addressed:

MHK Alf Cannan is a long-time critic of the public sector pension liability - and ministers' handling of it.

He's called on government to take a tougher stance in current negotiations with public sector trade unions: 

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