Hands off our pensions - contribution increase announced
The Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) has written to employers this week informing that they will be required to pay just under £32 million in increased contributions from next April.
While housing association bosses have been increasing their pension pots and their six figure salaries it is entirely possible that some will respond by attempting to cut their staff’s pension. Unite reps will need to take this as a call to action.
Inside Housing reports that each employer will pay £1,800 pa plus £70 pa for each member in the defined benefit sections as at 30 September last year.
Unite LE1111 Branch secretary and Unite Executive Council member Suzanne Muna has commented “Inadequate pensions raise the threat of poverty in old age for our members ... A further attack on pensions would be unacceptable. We urge employers to step back from making further attacks on staff pay and conditions”.
Unite has recently supported a number of campaigns to defend decent pensions in the private sector. We seek to extend the coverage of pensions among staff in the sector. Unite opposes the closure of final salary and other defined benefit schemes which offer the best deals for our members. The union is committed to supporting and assisting Unite groups who seek to resist such closures.
Unite policy on pensions is very clear and was reaffirmed at our last policy conference. The union is campaigning for improved pensions and increased flexibility in company schemes. If an employer is proposing a cut in benefits or increased contributions Unite members should be consulted about what action they may want to take including the possibility of industrial action.
Take advice from the union if you need technical back up and keep your regional officer informed. Contact your Unite rep, Unite officer Adam Lambert, or the branch Chair Paul Kershaw if any changes are proposed or come to light.
For a Unite briefing with clear steps for Unite reps, see here.
For an earlier reports on SHPS, see here.
For the full Inside Housing report, see here.