Superannuation Bill

Memorandum from Roddy Malone (SU 10)

1. I write to you as a very loyal public servant having devoted most of my whole working life to supporting the UK Armed Forces.  I have never written to your Committee before and I feel sad to have to do so now in connection with the Superannuation Bill 2010/11. 

2. I am being stripped of my hard earned life long superannuation rights by the new Con / Lib Dem Government. I think is grossly unfair and to make matters worse they are doing this at speed under a Money Bill to avoid full and proper scrutiny.  This is a disgrace to Parliament, 3rd World Dictatorships do things like this. The very least the Government should do is allow full Parliament scrutiny, and to consider more options. It is one thing to negotiate a new deal for the years going forward, it is quite another thing to change the law in a way which retrospectively robs me and hundreds of thousands of other public servants of their life long hard earned rights, just before thousands of jobs are cut. This is an abuse of Parliament.  I believe the Committee should reject / amend the Bill - it is grossly unfair and probability illegal - the High Court thought so, the European Court may think so too, bringing disrepute to Parliament. 

3. I will depend on these accrued rights if made redundant, they are part of my pay and agreed conditions of employment, enshrined in the Superannuation Act.  I cannot go back in time and change my career choices or savings plans, the government should not be able to go back in time to rob me of my superannuation rights. This is not good democratic government. 

4.  A much fairer way (an amendment) would be to leave the accrued rights in place for all the past years served, by calculating and freezing the value, and then negotiating a new formula applicable only for the years to come. There must be ways to do this.  This Bill is flawed and being pushed through wrongly, the government know they are wrong, thus the poor Money Bill approach. The Committee should force an amendment to prevent the accrued value element being taken away. No other Employer can simply change the law on their employees!

5. My interest. I am 49 yrs old and work for MoD Abbeywood as a B1 / G6.  I left school in 1977 and after a year of hard study at an Engineering College in Grangemouth, I had a choice of jobs including apprenticeships with BP (Welder - North Sea Oil, very good money); with Weir Pumps (Fitter and Turner, again good money) and with MoD (Army) Workshops (Indentured Vehicle Engineer). I was persuaded to go to MoD on the grounds of a long term career where loyalty would be rewarded with better superannuation conditions over time, even though the pay would be less. I started at MoD in 1978 and now have 32 years service, and am one of the few with pre 1987 rights.  I worked to improve myself, learning to take apart and assemble complex military vehicles to ensure our Forces have reliable equipment. I studied at college part time too, to support my skills with vocational (HNC) qualifications. MoD asked me to move from my home in Scotland to South Wales, promoted to Manager of an Army Workshop.  At South Wales, I could have left for the Ford Engine factory (better money), but stuck with the Civil Service for the superannuation rights.  In 1990 MoD encouraged me to move to Bristol to take up a Technical Officers’ (HPTO) post with DTI. I did so and in 1996 was encouraged again to move as a Project Manager (SPTO) on military vehicle projects. I prepared for and passed the B2/G7 Assessment Centre and have held several posts in the Band B.  I have letters of commendation from senior military staff thanking me for my work and achievements. I have worked long hours supporting operations, always putting the Army before myself. Despite having several job offers, I remained loyal to the Government of the day (in all 32 years) recognising that reward was through better superannuation over pay. I am aghast that a 21st century UK democracy can now treat their employees / citizens in this way.  An abuse of power!

6. Thank you for your attention on this grossly unfair Bill. Please do not pass it.

September 2010