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Benefits of being Registered

As across this whole website, some articles are only available to registered users, if you are member of the union register if not apply to join and then register - you know it makes sense.

*** News Flash ****

This site is being updated. However because of the immense amount of material on the site it is taking me some time. When the new site is populated this site will be closed and the updated site will be launched. In the meantime new information is only being added to the new site . You can see how the updated site is coming along here.

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Discussion

Private Companies Save £80Billion

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I haven't had been able to check the link as my broadband is so slow - PMW

 

MOF Writes:

Have a listen to the audio from Mark S and the BBC interviewer who stated that the DWP has admitted that Private Companies will save £80billions pounds or £2500 pounds from pensioners as a result of them changing from RPI to CPI indexation and will be giving this to their shareholders., Has any one seen or heard of this statement from the DWP? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17097730

Bank of England Keeps RPI for themselves

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 Bank of England’s Pensioners Escape Inflation Cut

The Wall Street Journal's Mark Cobley writes:

The Bank of England, whose preferred measure of inflation is being forced on many U.K. pension schemes, leading to cuts of up to 20% in their payments, is continuing to use the previous higher rate of inflation for its own pension fund.

Last summer, the U.K. government said it wants pension funds to pay out benefits in line with rises in the consumer prices index, instead of the retail prices index as before.

RPI tends to rise by about 0.7 percentage points a year more than CPI.

Explaining the change, pensions minister Steve Webb said CPI was a more appropriate measure of inflation for pensioners, as it excludes housing costs.

He said: “CPI is also the Bank of England’s preferred measure of inflation.”

Yet the Bank’s own pension rules call for payments to be linked to the retail prices index.

Read the full story at Financial News.

BA Pension Fund Trustee resigns

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BA is also stuffing its pensioners by changing from RPI to CPI

BA pension trustee quits over CPI move By Louisa Peacock

A British Airways pension trustee has resigned over the airline's decision to cut pensioners' payments by up to 20pc.

BT wont gain from Reducing our pensions

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OFCOM Statement on BT

See OFCOM statement below

Here is an example of what will happen when BT makes too much profit it will be regulated away by OFCOM, this will only get worse when BT take a Pension holiday in the future.  Hence our Pension Losses will be regulated away and BT will not be more profitable. It is an argument that Ben should have made with Ian Livingstone when he said that the BT Board had to change from RPI to CPI otherwise the “City” would have removed the board.  BT’s is being regulated by profitability, if the had kept t larger Pension deficit and hence a larger revenue would have been need they would be allowed to make a larger profit by OFCOM.  With this Regulation arrangement BT Pensioners, BT and the City loose!

 

http://m.foxbusiness.com/quickPage.html?page=19453&content=50139753

Ofcom Proposes Wholesale Price Cut For BT Openreach Service
Mar 31, 2011 3:39 AM EDT
(page 1 of 2) View Entire Story

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- U.K. communications regulator Ofcom Thursday proposed a reduction in wholesale prices for BT Group PLC's (BT.A.LN) Openreach division, which should lead to lower prices for landline and broadband customers.

Ofcom expects the reduction in wholesale prices to "lead to real-term price reductions for consumers, as communications providers pass on savings to their landline and broadband customers."

The prices are regulated by Ofcom because Openreach has been found to have significant market power in the delivery of these services. It is the third time that Ofcom has set wholesale prices for these services.

At present, the wholesale price for a fully unbundled line is GBP89.10 annually. This is expected to fall in real terms by between 1.2% and 4.2% every year.

The proposals, if Ofcom goes ahead with them following a period of consultation with industry players, are expected to come into effect later this year and will run until March 31, 2014. Ofcom aims to publish a statement in the autumn.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

On a lighter note

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How to readily improve the lot of old age pensioners...

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an  exercise outdoor yard, with  gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to. 

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week.  Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

BTPS pension deficit shrinks

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BTPS deficit shrinks £1.5bn in three months

Professional Pensions | 03 Feb 2011 | 12:18

By Michael Bow

The BT Pension Scheme shortfall shrank £1.5bn in Q4 last year, helped by a £1bn increase in asset values and a £525m deficit payment, according to its quarterly report.

The scheme's deficit fell from £5.2bn at the end of September to £3.7bn gross of tax at the end of 2010.

The Impact of Using CPI on private sector occupational pension schemes

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Steve Webb's reply to John Baron refers to the Government's consultation on CPI and the effect on private pension schemes.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/cpi-private-pensions-consultation.pdf

As part of this consultation there is identified various matters that affect the BT Pension Scheme, and sets out 5 broad categories of scheme.

BA Airways Pension Scheme

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AIRWAYS PENSION SCHEME
RULES : PART VI
- as at -
1 APRIL 2008

May be of interest that this provides (with some qualification):

 

15. Adjustment of pensions and allowances

The annual rate of all pensions and allowances payable or prospectively payable under Rules 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 34 hereof shall be adjusted as if the rates of increase as specified in the Annual Review Orders issued in accordance with section 59 of the Social Security Pensions Act 1975 were applicable thereto PROVIDED ALWAYS that if the said Act is repealed and not replaced or should it become necessary to review the basis of such annual adjustments steps shall be taken to ensure that the annual adjustments of pensions and allowances continue to be made based upon an appropriate national index or indices reflecting fluctuations in the cost of living

http://www.mybapension.com/resources/schemeDocuments/APS_Rules_Part_VI.pdf

 

The New Airways Pension Scheme has a similar RPI or 5% cap, similar to BTPS Section C.

Report of the Conference Putting a Price on Pensions: The Cost of the CPI

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This is from NFOP's latest newsletter.

The meeting held on the 23rd November was very successful. Jill Leyland from the Royal Statistical Society spoke about how the RPI and CPI are compiled and the differences between them. I will send out a copy of the PowerPoint slides when I receive them.

She started by saying that there was no "right" way to calculate an index. Several issues need to be considered:

1. Owner Occupied Housing - How is this measured? A house can be used for ongoing current need and/or as an investment. There is no international concensus, hence it it left out of the CPI.

BT Senior Management Pension Arrangements

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I've also gone through the BT Group Annual Report 2010

http://www.btplc.com/Sharesandperformance/Annualreportandreview/pdf/BTGroupAnnualReportSmart2010.pdf

I suggest that these are people who will be largely unaffected by the 'enforced' changes affecting the BT Pension Scheme. That might be highlighted in what we and individuals say ......

Hanif Lalani is a member of the BTPS but opted out of future pensionable service accrual. The company paid an annual allowance equal to 30% of salary towards pension provision. A cash payment of £175,500 was paid to Hanif Lalani for the 2009/10 financial year. BT also provided a death in service lump sum benefit of four times salary and a two-thirds widow’s pension.

It's not over yet...

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Apart from anything else, the change is not yet a done deal ...... it may be more inevitable than other eventualities (taxes and death) .... and it was the previous shower who presided over the attacks on civil service pensions and other benefits

(I've had the full benefit of all this from my sister in law, who is a PCS branch officer spending 25% and more of her time on union matters - mind she does seem a bit confused and thinks the sun shines out of one MS's rear - just a yolk Smile )