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13 February 2013
About 1,000 Ministry of Defence (MoD) firefighters have won a vital parliamentary victory in their fight not to work an extra eight years until they are 68 before they receive their pension.
The House of Lords has sent an amendment to the government's public sector pension legislation back to the House of Commons saying that the firefighters should retire at 60 – the same age as civilian firefighters and police officers.
MPs are expected to vote on the amendment before Easter.
Because of an anomaly in the government's pension legislation, MoD firefighters were not included as uniform grades enabling them to retire at an earlier age.
Unite MoD firefighter Dave Kirby, who has led the fight against the flawed legislation, said:“This is a victory in our fight for equality with civilian colleagues doing the same job. It is unreasonable to expect firefighters to work until they are 68 before receiving their pension due to the extreme physicality of the job."
Dave Kirby, who is the Unite shop steward at RAF Leconfield in East Yorkshire, said:“We will be keeping up the campaign so that MPs vote through this amendment. We are working very closely with the 2,700- strong MoD Police Federation on this whose members also faced the similar prospect of working until 68.
“We would like to thank those peers that supported this amendment.”
Mike McCartney, Unite national officer for MoD/government departments said:“The MoD firefighters have to undergo vigorous medical and fitness checks on a yearly basis. If they do not pass these tests they are likely to be moved out of the service on capability grounds, probably on medical retirement.”