Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Karen Randall (SU 40)

1. This evidence is submitted by Mrs Karen Randall, a Civil Servant who has worked as an employee of The Department of Work and Pensions (and legacy Departments) since July 1978.

2. This evidence will address two issues which are discussed in the Research Paper 10/56, including the definition of the Bill as a Money Bill and the non-compatibility of the Bill’s provisions with the European Convention on Human Rights.

3. The Research Paper states that a bill which contains ‘any of the enumerated matters and nothing besides is indisputably a ‘Money Bill’. If it contains any other matters, then unless these are ‘subordinate matters incidental to’ any of the enumerated matters so contained in the bill, the bill is not a ‘Money Bill’. The Bill contains determinations of ‘compulsory severance’ and ‘voluntary severance’, neither of which might be considered as subordinate matters or as being incidental. If there were no massive governmental requirement for either compulsory or voluntary redundancies, then there would be no requirement for the Bill. The content of the Bill represents fundamental changes to the accrued rights of Crown Employees.

4. The Research Paper states that Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights which confers the entitlement to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions is very broadly interpreted and covers a range of economic interests, furthermore, entitlement to a pension has already been held to fall within the protection of Article 1. The Appendix of the Research Paper entitled ‘current CSCS terms describes the current exit terms and states that under Compulsory, Flexible and Approved schemes an immediate payment of Pension is payable to those over 50 with a minimum of 5 years service. Therefore for Civil Servants already aged 50 or over the benefit they would be denied by the Bill is clearly a pension, which is a possession protected by A1P1 of the ECtHR.

5. The Research paper states that A1 P1 applies only when it is possible to lay claim to the relevant property and does not protect the right to acquire property. It has been held that A1P1 does not guarantee the right to acquire possessions whether on intestacy or through voluntary dispositions, a Civil Servants’ right to compensation under the Superannuation act 1972 is acquired by virtue of Statute, not intestacy or voluntary disposition. The limitations on a mother’s right to bequeath as cited in the case of Marckx v. Belgium. would not apply here as a Civil Servant has a statutory right to the property and it would be possible to lay claim to such property.

September 2010