`Privatised pensions' alarm unions

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Civil service and teachers' trade unions are holding urgent meetings today to plan action against government plans to privatise their pension schemes' administration.

Their move follows revelations that public sector schemes covering up to 3 million staff and up to £10bn in notional funds are likely to be put out to tender within the next 18 months. John McReadie, national pensions officer for the civil servants union CPSA, said last night: "We want to find out how people feel and what their mood is. There is definitely a feeling that this is one move that must be opposed.