Bus workers at Metroline in north London were shocked to learn last week that their final salary pension scheme was being closed. Alternatives to the final salary scheme are cheaper for the company but less secure for workers.
The final salary scheme was closed to new entrants several years ago, but now the whole pension scheme has been dismantled as of 1 March.
On the same day, the company’s money purchase pension scheme was also closed.
Metroline has invited financial consultants Alexander Forbes into the garages to give presentations and encourage individuals to sign up to a new pension scheme.
Many union members are concerned that workers are being encouraged to sign up individually to a new pension without sufficient information.
The company has shut the pension scheme without an agreement with the T&G union.
One T&G rep told Socialist Worker, “This raises questions about what the strategy is at the highest levels of the union to tackle the pensions crisis.”
Another driver said, “There’s a lot of anger and insecurity because this happened so fast.
“It is also scandalous that most drivers at my garage have no pension scheme as they can’t afford the contributions. That’s the reality of low pay and the insecure future that we are facing.”
Drivers working for Yorkshire Coastliner have called off a strike after accepting an improved pay offer. They won a two year pay deal comprising a 5 percent rise this year, followed by 5 percent next year.
Around 1,000 drivers in the T&G union at FirstBus Leeds have voted to accept a two year pay deal.