Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Susan Scott (SU 23)

1. I am 50 years old in January 2011 and will have 30 years service in October of this year. I was a citizen of the Department for Transport until 1995 at which point the Northern Regional Office was closed. I was lucky enough to join the Government Office for the North East and had to transfer to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (at that time Department for Trade and Industry).

2. I am an Administration Officer (I have just reverted after 5 years temporary promotion to EO) and had hoped to receive the package of early redundancy/retirement that I have been led to believe would be my entitlement if there was ever a compulsory situation likely to arise. This would appear to be happening now. Given the harsh cuts that are going to be announced and the North East’s heavy dependency on the public sector there are likely to be few, if any, employment opportunities.

3. My mother has severe rheumatoid arthritis and is becoming less mobile and I have a Down’s Syndrome brother. I have continued to work conscientiously in often difficult circumstances and now find that the financial security that I have always thought that I had, if in the unlikely event that I was ever faced with redundancy, and have been led to believe that I had, is not going to be there. I am becoming increasingly distressed because due to the Bill’s removal of what I consider to be my accrued rights we face severe financial hardship. All of the uncertainty and anxiety is impacting on our health and wellbeing. Through no fault of our own we find ourselves with more stress and worry (which, sadly, is one of the worst things for arthritis) at a time when we should have been able to at least feel reasonably secure about our future. I want to fulfil my caring responsibilities at home and fear that I will be unable to do so and will struggle to find even part time employment in the current climate. How can it be fair and just to rip up a contract, without any consultation, stripping away terms and conditions that I (and colleagues) have based our financial decisions on for the future?

4. My salary is £18,783 and under the current terms I would be eligible to receive 6 months pay compensation lump sum, immediate payment of pension and immediate payment of a pension lump sum. Under the proposed terms this would be reduced to 15 months salary for voluntary redundancy and 12 months salary for compulsory redundancy.

September 2010