Motion 64 and amendments
Congress condemns the disproportionate and unjustified decision of the treasury chief secretary in January to suspend the process for rectifying the downward breaches of the cost cap in public service pension schemes. Many scheme members are now denied the reductions in contributions and pension benefit improvements that are due to them and are forced to continue overpaying for lesser benefits for an uncertain period, without a timescale and an unclear outcome.
Congress welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in June in favour of the FBU’s case, which found that the Westminster government’s transitional protection arrangements for pensions amount to unlawful discrimination.
The government argued that a potential read-across of the court ruling in favour of the FBU and judges’ cases about age discrimination in the transitional protection for older scheme members in 2014/15 means that other schemes are affected, and that “it is not now possible to assess the value of the current public service pension arrangements with any certainty.” But the government has also acted in a hypocritical manner, by imposing extra employment costs for pensions, as they did not defer the change to the discount rate from April this year, for the same reason.
Congress welcomes the intervention of the General Council, including the general secretary and president by meeting the treasury chief secretary in June, and the steps being taken following that meeting, for scheme specific talks with treasury officials to test assumptions and the scenarios displayed by different contributions, benefits and demography.
Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that the TUC organises joint
union campaigning, including building for joint industrial action if necessary to
protect defined benefit pension provision in public services and until the valuation suspension is reversed.
Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: Fire Brigades Union
Supporter: Society of Radiographers