UNISON is informing members of the proposals from government for the new scheme. They have issued a booklet (see attached) This branch will be sending out hard copies in due course, but any members who want one urgently can contact the branch office. We will be sending them out via emails and hard copies will go out via stewards and reps in the workplace.
Basically, the document lays out the government’s proposed deal which is the best that UNISON and the other unions could negotiate. In our branch we agreed that we would not accept a scheme that cost more, paid less and made you work longer. Unfortunately these proposals fails to meet any of the branch’s goals.
IT WILL COST MORE
The cut in the way annual pension increases are calculated by CPI after retirement and by paying in for more years at an accrual and revaluation rate that delivers lower benefits than the current scheme means we end up paying more for less. The booklet focuses solely on member subscription rates which look set to remain the same for the majority of workers – an average of 6.5%. The better paid (earning over £43,000) will pay more and some lower paid workers will pay less.
WE WILL WORK LONGER
Though there are protections for more mature workers the scheme will eventually end up with an increased retirement age of 68 years. There are some protections for staff with those over 55 years now being able to retire at 65 years, those aged between 52 and 55 years will have to wait until they are 66 years old, those aged between 35 and 51 will have to work until they are 67 and those under 35 years will have to work until they are 68 years old.
REDUCTIONS IN BENEFITS
The scheme will no longer be a final salary scheme it will be a Career Average Re-valued Earnings Scheme. We believe that will mean that the benefits payable at retirement will be less.
So, although the UNISON position is to show that a good deal has been negotiated members do need to know that it will mean paying more to get less at a later date. UNISON intends to ballot all members on the deal later in the year.