Socialist Worker

More IT companies close pension schemes

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2175

CSC UK has become the latest IT company to announce plans to close its final salary pension scheme.

It follows Fujitsu, Steria, IBM and Barclays in closing their final salary pension schemes to existing members.

The company is planning to close the scheme from 1 April next year.

In its proposals, workers can either join the company’s current money purchase scheme or join a Group Personal Pension scheme.

This is based on members paying into a pot and getting a pension based upon the value that is in this pot and the state of the stock market at their retirement.

Both these schemes will mean a worse standard of living for retired workers than the final salary scheme, which is based on the level of wages earned by the worker during their time in employment.

The changes will affect around 2,000 workers and the Unite union at CSC UK is planning to resist these attacks.

Shamefully, the union is recommending that its members at Barclays vote to accept the closure of their scheme.

But it is organising to challenge the changes in other companies.

A major battle is taking place at Fujitsu, where more than 2,000 members of the Unite and PCS unions are currently balloting for industrial action.

As well as planning to close its final salary pension scheme the firm wants to impose a pay freeze.

Fujitsu has also announced that it wants to sack 1,200 workers out of its workforce of 12,500. It has put 6,000 people at risk of redundancy.

It will dismiss 4,000 employees at the end of the consultation phase this month and then offer them new contracts, which will be exchanged except in relation to pension provisions.

The moves have provoked outrage, and seen a big increase in union membership across the company.

Workers have already voted overwhelmingly for action in a consultative ballot, and they are preparing to resist the attacks.

The ballot was set to end on Thursday of this week – and a yes vote will worry bosses across Britain.

Defend our pensions public meeting, 7pm, Monday 2 November, Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1. Speakers include Pete Keenlyside (CWU), Dot Gibson (National Pensioners Convention), and Unite and PCS members. Called by Unite Greater Manchester IT Branch


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Tue 27 Oct 2009, 18:37 GMT
Issue No. 2175
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