The Judicial Review is set for 18th 19th September to challenge the view of employers and Government that 85 Year Rule is age discriminatory. Depending on the outcome and the response by employers and Government, there may be a ballot for industrial action and/or a ballot to consult members on the four options for the new scheme that the other side has already put forward.
These four options all involve the deletion of the 85 Year Rule:
Option A - would maintain the current pension level of 1/80th of Final Salary x Years of Service (and a Lump Sum of 3 times that amount).
Option B - is a Final Salary Scheme but based on 1/60 instead of 1/80 (meaning that the level of Pension is higher but with no fixed additional Lump Sum. Members would have the option of forgoing some of their pension for a Lump Sum.
Option C - is a Career Average Scheme, and is actually split into two alternatives.
Under C1, benefits would build up at a rate of 1.85% of average pay and would be revalued annually in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI).
Under C2, benefits would build up at a rate of 1.65% of average pay and would be revalued annually in line with the RPI plus 1.5%.
As with Options A & B, under Option C members could exchange part of their pension for a Lump Sum.
Option D - would be the same as Option C, but would allow members to opt for it being based on Final Salary. However to do so, members would have to pay significantly higher contributions.
I recently attended a Regional Pensions Briefing, along with Mervyn D’Cruze, Assistant Branch Secretary. It seems clear that the union bureaucracy would like us to express support for Option B (albeit with some further demands). There was a widespread feeling amongst the activists who attended the briefing (and amongst a number of others who weren’t able to be there) that none of the options was acceptable, and that we should be proposing an option of our own (Option E) that would meet our demands.
Pickets outside Taberner House
Picture courtesy of Croydon Guardian
PROTECT WHAT IS