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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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MP & BT Replies

What about MP pensions

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A member wrote to the speaker of the House of Common to ask about how MPs pensions might be afeceted by the RPI/CPI swindle and recieved the following reply:

 

11 April 2011

I have been asked to respond to your letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons dated 31 March 2011 which I received this morning. I have replied by email rather than by letter in order to better provide links to the information you are seeking.

I hope that you find the following information about the pensions available to MPs and Ministers helpful.

Under the new arrangements, the pensions available to MPs and Ministers will also be indexed according CPI rather than RPI.

The schemes are described in fact sheets available on the Parliamentary

website:

Members' pay, pensions

and allowances

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/M05.pdf

Ministerial Salaries

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/m06.pdf

The pension scheme is more fully described in House of Commons Library briefing notes which are also available on the website:

Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snbt-01844.PDF

Pensions of ministers and senior office holders

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snbt-04586.PDF

I also thought you might find the following briefing note on the change from CPI to RPI interesting:

http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/snbt-05434.pdf

Please let me know if I can assist further.

Yours sincerely

Bob Castle

Head of Information Rights and Information Security House of Commons

Intersting Email exchange with Gavin Barwell MP

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Latest member's response to Gavin Barwell

Sent: 21 March 2011 14:22
To: 'BARWELL, Gavin'
Subject: RE: Vote on Indexation of Pensions ~ BT Pensioner

Dear Gavin,

Please can you respond specifically to the points that I made in my email rather that send me a standard response, I look forward to a more detailed reply?  Just in case you have lost the original mail please find it attached.

Finally, why are you allowing BT to penalize my pension as a result of your legislation ~ detailed response required?

for the run up to this read on

 

 

MP Andy Keen to a member

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This is an interesting and helpful reply so I have published it here as well as the PDF link

 


HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SWIA OAA

18 February 2011

 

Dear


Thank you for your recent letter regarding the Government's proposed changes to
pensions as outlined in the Pension Bill, I know that this issue has caused distress to a
number of my constituents.

Reply from Shirley Williams March 3rd 2011

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Thank you for your recent e-mail about changes to the BT Pension Scheme.


"I confess that I am not knowledgeable in this area. I recently attended a Parliamentary seminar mainly about the effect on state pensions of the move from RPI to CPI. Iain Vallance, whom I know and respect, will know much more about this than I do. I will drop him a line to say that I have been in correspondence with you and would appreciate a copy of his reply."

Steve Webb's Reply via Mark Field Feb 19th 2011

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The Government believes that it is right to use one appropriate index for uprating additional State Pensions, public and private pensions and social security benefits and that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is a more appropriate measure of changes in the cost of living than the Retail Prices Index (RPI). It may help if I set out some of the considerations that were factors in pur reasoning:

Reply from Angie Bray MP to a member

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From: Angela Lavinia (Angie) Bray (born 13 October 1953) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ealing Central and Acton since 2010

To: Richard

Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 11:41 AM

Subject: thanks for your email

Dear Richard,

Thanks for contacting me about the Government’s proposals to alter the inflation index used to update private pensions from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  I have received this explanation which I hope will answer some of your queries:

Respons to Member GL from his MP

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... too busy for constituents ...

 

From: "FEATHERSTONE, Lynne" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date: 16 February 2011 13:41:43 GMT

To: Gordon

Subject: RE: Pensions: RPI-CPI uprating

Thank you very much for your email. This is just to let you know that it has been safely received.

I am always happy to assist my constituents where possible, however unfortunately my office is currently experiencing an extremely high volume of casework, therefore you may experience a short delay in me getting back to you regarding any issues you have raised.

Reply from Mark Field MP Feb 2nd 2011

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Reply from Mark Field MP Feb 2nd 2011

He encloses the standardised reply he got August 27th 2010 concerning the proposed use of CPI for private and public pensions, so I won't detail that as there is nothing new.

He does say that he appreciates bringing the unintended negative impact this could have on the BT Pension Scheme to his attention.

In the light of the detailed case study that was sent he is raising this with the government to ensure that these concerns are properly considered before a decision is reached.

Reply from Agnes Lynch Company Secretary BT Pension Scheme Feb 2nd 2011

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A lengthy just over 2 and a half sides of  A4 paper reply so I have summarised and only quoted significant phrases.

It is headed:

BT Pension Scheme (the "Scheme") - pension increases

And Rod Kent is apparently absent.

She sets out what the scheme rules are in relation to revaluation and pension increases and for increases for pensions in payment 'for the avoidance of doubt' so nothing new there. That comprises one side of A4. The rest is a re-statement of what has already been said or written.

 

Reply From Iain Vallance

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Iain Vallance <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>


Dear Mr. Pinto

Thank you for your letter of 24 January about the change from RPI to CPI in the indexation of BTPS pensions. I entirely sympathise with the case you make, not least because I am a member of the Scheme myself. But therein lies the rub. My direct personal and financial interest would prevent me from taking any part in the pursuit of any form of "statutory mechanism" as you suggest.

I am sorry to send you a disappointing reply but I am sure you will understand that the rules of engagement for Members of the House of Lords are quite unequivocal on a point like this.

So, I fear all I can do is to wish you the very best of luck!

Best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Iain Vallance

BT Management: Tony Chanmugam's (non-commital) Reply

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From: tony.chanmugam
To: dominic.pinto; gavin.e.patterson
Cc: ian.livingston
Sent: Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 8:57:13
Subject: RE: RPI to CPI - the Unintended Effect on the BT Pension Scheme

Dear Dominic ,

Thank you for your letter .

I am a long standing member of the BT pension scheme and understand the concerns you have raised  . The subject  has been extensively discussed  and  authorised  within BT.

Regards

Tony

2010-11-26 Lord Vallance

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In response to a member writing to him Lord Vallance sent the following reply:

"You may have received, by now, the letter from our Pensions Scheme people setting out the reasons why the Trustee has no legal alternative but to follow what the Govt. have in mind, as the BT Scheme of which you and I are members is linked directly to the terms applicable to public sector schemes in general. So, although I sympathise with the points you make, I don't think there is any joy down that particular route.

Which would leave us with trying to change what the Govt. are proposing for public sector schemes as a whole and I fear there will not be much joy there either. Until the end of the last Parliament, I used to chair the Select Committee in the Lords which dealt with Finance Bills and, if anywhere, that is where a proposal of this kind might be considered. However, for historical reasons, the Lords are heavily constrained in what they can do about Finance Bills; specifically, they are not able to question the revenue/expenditure side of things, only at administration, simplification etc. So, even had I still been doing what I was last year, I doubt if we would have been able to make much headway.

I am sorry to send you  a disappointing reply but I fear we shall just have to grin and bear it. One small consolation is that the CPI does, on occasion, outstrip the RPI (depending on housing and related prices)."