Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Geoff Scott (SU 27)

I am currently a serving civil servant with over 34 years service, who works in the Government Office for the North East. An office which the Secretary of State for CLG has said in principal will close sometime after the results of the comprehensive spending review are announced. 


Aged 56 and likely to be 57 when the office closes my prospects of seeking alte rnative employment are serverely limited, especially as I live in an area where nearly 50% of the working population are employed in the public sector. All such employees are cutting back and there is no way that the private sector can make up for these job losses.


Prior to the closure announcement I had planned to work until at least I was 61 both in order to help pay my children through university and on the basis of the existing civil service pension scheme to provide adequate provision for my retirement.


The closure announcement and more importantly proposals in this Bill not only  change the amount of compensation I will receive have radically changed these plans . Should these provisions be adopted the amount of pension that I receive will be reduced as will the financial compensation that I receive. Under the old scheme as I am over 55 my pension would be payable once I leave the civil service, not so under the Bills proposals. In addition the compensation I receive will be greatly reduced. In rough terms I will be some 60 -70% worse off and likely to have to apply for state benefits in order to meet day to day living costs. This is a situation that would not arise if the existing terms are implemented. It appears ludicrous to me, that in the likely event that I am made redundant my employer is reducing the compensation payable only to have to pay me benefits. So where are the savings???


In singling out the Civil Service the Bill is discriminatory, other areas within the public sector are not affected. Where is the implementation of fairness. Why is it necessary to so discriminate and penalise a sector that was not responsible for the finacial situation that the country finds itself in. In addition the  terms of this Bill are limited and will discriminate against those that are made redundant during this time, if in the meantime a revised scheme is agreed. Does the Bill include a clause that requires the Government to apply retrospectively the terms of any revised improved scheme to individuals that are made redundant  under this scheme ?


I would also question the legality of this Bill. In the PCS's successful High Court challenge to the previous attempt to amend the Civil Service Compensation Scheme the judgement instructed the government to enter into discussions with the union on amendments to it. This Bill in my humble opinion does not constitute such "discussions" and as such can it be regarded as in contempt of the High Court judgement    


September 2010