Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Anil Trehan (SU 5)

Summary:

1. I am representing myself as a Civil Servant with over 30yrs experience who has been placed on Department for Work & Pensions’ Surplus List last July; and as a carer of over 25 years. My earnings are £28,130 per annum.

2. I believe that should the Superannuation Bill pass through the Parliament and becomes an Act, without major amendments, it will be a great miscarriage of justice not only on low-paid Civil Servants but also provide hardship on their families.

3. I joined the Civil Service some 30 years ago. The main reasons were that the employment was fairly secure, even though we were remunerated at quite a disadvantaged rate compared to the private sector. However, we were proud to serve the country and we did not have to go through cut & thrust approach in the private sector.

4. My father was a civil servant for over 25 years distinguished service with the British Government in Tanzania. I looked after both my parents since 1979, when we all arrived in the U.K and continued as a carer until my mother passed away in 2004 despite struggling with work life balance for long periods.

5. I have just turned 51 and been placed on surplus heap last July. I suddenly find that despite my illness, manic depression now known as Bi-Polar Syndrome, for the last 10 yrs I have been exemplary in discharging my duties as a civil servant, a son, husband and father of two daughters. One of my biggest problems has been the way I have had to tackle everyday the "uncertainty of the next day" due to my illness. Even with my wife’s income we are struggling to pay for mortgage and other day to day living items.

6. Now I am about to lose everything including my dignity should the Bill go through as laid at present. I feel so distraught at present and let down by the new Government who wish to change midstream the conditions of severance payments of all civil servants. Where are the defenders of rights of the vulnerable people our Knights in shinning armour upon which the great British Civil Service was once revered upon by the Commonwealth & the rest of the world?

7. Therefore, I believe that a great deal of thought should be given for those with illnesses and other special circumstances, especially to us low paid staff when laying down the law in respect of capping the amount that can be paid . While I understand that there are suggestions for protection for staff earning £21,000 or less, but I strongly feel that the ceiling has been set at a low income level.

8. Hence, there should be a provision in the Bill for staff with long term illness or other special circumstances, such as carers or with disability. These staff will for the foreseeable time have many very big hurdles to climb in order to gain future employment, especially during very trying economic downturn and ever increasing unemployment.

9. Only, recently it was announced that there are over five million on social security benefits. This Bill will no doubt increase this burden on tax payers yet again.

10. Finally, it may be plausible that staff would get two years pay (with of course some capping to the maximum amount) and get the rest in instalments during within the next two years.

September 2010