6 July 2022

Pensions

PCS members have been overpaying their pension contributions for three years; every year the losses you have incurred increase.

To date losses average over £1,000 per member.

It is important to understand that this money does not contribute towards the pension you will get, it is extra money that you pay in for no reason other than the government claims the scheme is unaffordable without it. This has been shown to be untrue: the scheme is running in surplus because of the increase in contributions you were forced to make. 

There are two solutions to this overpayment: one is that the government reduces the contribution rate by 2% for all employees and the other is that they increase the pension benefits you receive on retirement. At present the government wants to take the unacceptable step of using the overpaid cash to correct the mistake they made in discriminating on the grounds of age against people in retirement schemes. The money you are overpaying should not be used to correct the mistakes of government.

So far nearly 22,000 PCS members have worked out how much they have lost by using our PCS pensions loss calculator. The average loss per month is around £53. Simply enter your gross annual salary into the calculator and it will show you how much you have overpaid.

At a time when the cost of living is rising sharply, with the energy price cap predicted to rise by 51%, National Insurance contributions increasing and the potential of interest rate rises affecting mortgage payments, PCS members cannot afford to make these overpayments.

PCS is taking legal action, along with at least five other unions, to force the government to change its decision on pension contributions. The pensions issue is a part of the overall discontent with the government as an employer, with a cap on pay well below inflation, cuts to jobs and the civil service compensation scheme, and the understaffing and overworking of departments, it is small wonder that PCS is planning action on all these fronts. 

What you can do: get one person to join PCS, share Defender with colleagues, attend PCS meetings as they are called and keep your details right up to date. Get ready to play a part in the upcoming ballot on many of these issues as we seek to make the government treat us with dignity and respect.