9 November 2021

Pensions robbery – make your voice heard

The government is still withholding money that is owed to civil service pension scheme members.

A cut in employee contributions, that’s now worth more than £1,000 for many, should have brought in nearly 3 years ago. With every passing day members are losing badly-needed cash. Meanwhile the government wants to rip up the rules so it would never be obliged to pass benefits on to scheme members in this way again – known as ‘cost-sharing’ provisions.

It is also being slow on the application of the remedy process brought about by the McCloud judgement on age discrimination, which could be detrimental to some of our members. These pensions are not ‘gold-plated’ as some suggest – they have been paid for.

PCS has begun legal action to challenge the government blocking its own cost sharing provisions. These were added when the reformed schemes were introduced in 2015 and intended to apply for 25 years. They have effectively been ripped up at the whim of the Treasury. The list of unions making a challenge includes FBU, PCS, POA, GMB and Unite. Our view is that scheme members should not bear the cost of fixing the fault found by the Court of Appeal which ruled against the unlawful age discrimination in the government’s transitional arrangements.

Four-yearly valuations were put in place to inform any need to vary the relative costs for employers and scheme members. In 2019 the valuation was 5.4% below the target cost and the Civil Service Scheme Board recommended a reduction of 2% in the rates of employee contribution and some improved benefits. It was blocked by then-chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss using the pretext of the court case known as the McCloud judgement which found against the government. This has meant that the employee contribution rates have remained unchanged in 2019, 2020 and 2021 – see how much this has cost you by using our calculator and share your loss on social media using the share buttons on the calculator page.

Now you can see how much you have lost join our campaign to force the government to change this disgraceful decision. Use our campaign action to email your MP telling them how much you have lost. The email has all the details in there – you just need to add in your own loss details. We are asking MPs – via your personal emails – to write to Lord Agnew, the minister in the Cabinet Office and Treasury who is responsible for your pension. Take this action today and let’s build the pressure on the government to back down.

PCS is also holding members' meetings during November on pay and pensions. Please sign up to attend and get involved in the campaign. 

Later in the month we are also holding detailed pension seminars online to fully explain our pensions campaign.

Sign up online for the seminar at 12.30pm on Tuesday, 30 November and for the seminar at 6pm on Thursday, 2 December.