Friday, January 14, 2022

Your future pension plan? "Keep calm and work till you drop"


This is a motion submitted by my trade union branch to UNISON Greater London Regional Council. Unless we get decent pension provision for all workers, you will indeed have to "work till you drop". UNISON must review and investigate what do do to tackle the future pension poverty of millions of workers. 

"Motion 2 Received from the Housing Associations Branch

Future Pension Provision for Public Service Workers not eligible for Defined Benefit Scheme

This Regional Council/ National Delegate Conference recognises the vital importance of “Defined Benefit” (DB) schemes in providing decent pensions for so many public service workers.

However, many millions of public service workers (including hundreds of thousands of UNISON Members) are not eligible to join such schemes and are instead dependent on Defined Contributions (DC) schemes.

Many (not all) of these DC schemes are grossly inadequate, badly run and expensive with little or no involvement by workers in their Capital stewardship.

UNISON has negotiated with employers in these sectors and have successfully brought about a number of relatively high quality DC schemes for members in recent years.

It is likely that in the near future the Government will allow a new type of Pension scheme to operate in the UK. It is called a “Collective Defined Contribution” (CDC) which is a commonplace scheme elsewhere in Europe and in some cases operates with the assistance and direct involvement of trade unions.

The CWU union strongly supports the establishment of a CDC scheme for Royal Mail.

This Regional Council/National Delegate Conferences requests:-

1. The Regional Council officers/NEC to carry out a review to collate information and identify best practice with regard to current pension provision for workers not eligible for DB schemes. This can also be used for collective bargaining purposes

2. Examine our members attitudes to pensions and identify barriers as well as means to encourage improved take up of existing pension provision

3. Evaluate possible alternatives to current pension provision including CDC and Sectorial DB

4. Report back to Regional Council/NDC in 2023 with recommendations.

(If this motion is passed and then selected as a regional motion to NDC then the wording will be changed appropriately)

For consideration as a regional motion to National Delegate Conference 2022


Anonymous said...

I am worried about my pensions too. However, given that every private sector employer I have worked for has had Defined Contributions. It is a problem for many people.

With the fast pace of economic change. Many people are working for companies which exist today, but are gone tomorrow. What happens to these Defined Contributions schemes when companies no longer exist and face a shortfall?.

How can Defined Benefits be provided, unless you have companies which are going to be around for generations?

For instance, BT is still probably paying into the shortfall for the staff who worked in directory enquiries. However, the business is a shadow of its former self. The 118 service also allowed competitors to move in. So other part of BT have to pay for any shortfall, making them harder to compete with new players which are n't burdened with staff on Defined Benefits.

How can the public sector provide Defined Benefits, whilst the tax payers are working for companies which only provide Defined Contributions?

Gordon Brown and taxing on dividends was a huge mistake and made things worse at a time, when returns are low and the economy is facing fast change.

I also believe, people should be paying for Social Care, during their working lives. In the same way they do for Pensions.

I don't look forward to the pension age going up.

If the internet is wiping out jobs, then they should pay a greater taxation to legacy companies, so that those workers are provided an opportunity to re-train.....

Anonymous said...

The last Chancellor in a Government with a huge majority, who used his first budget to raid pension tax relief, was Gordon Brown in 1997. His infamous removal of dividend tax credits from pension schemes has gone down in the annals of history as one of the major contributors to the demise of Britain’s gold-plated Defined Benefit schemes. Although there were many other factors affecting pensions around that time, there is no doubt that the removal of large sums of money from pensions, which aroused little attention at the time (apart from among pension experts) turned out to be very damaging in the years that followed.
Good old Labour.