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Act now to stop pension theft

Another well attended branch meeting (minutes of meeting) called on UCU negotiators to stand firm as employers try to steal the pensions they promised us when they hired us.   Members should vote NO in the current online ballot.

If the employers get their way, from 2016 the Final Salary component of our pensions will cease to exist.  It will be stolen from us.   As one member put it ‘It will be as if they are firing us all  and taking us back on under a new contract’.

Any member unsure of what they impact of the changes on their pension will be can use the UCU modeller, though as was pointed out at the branch meeting this underestimates the losses because it does not take the additional losses associated with annual increments into account.

Pensions officer James Davenport estimates that the accrual rate would have to move from 1/80 to 1/67 for USS members to get the same benefits as members of the Teachers Pension Scheme.

But the biggest worry was that the ‘cap’ (the point at which earnings no longer attract contributions to the existing Defined Benefits (DB) scheme, and go instead into a more risky Defined Contribution (DC) scheme) may look like no threat to most members in the short term, but in the medium to long term opens to door to DC as the primary or sole scheme for all.

The branch affirmed the position adopted in November and agreed a resolution calling for the mandate for action in defence of pensions from October’s record ballot to be pursued.


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