Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Linda Smart (SU 53)

1. I will be 54 years old in June 2011 and will have accrued 22 years service in December of this year. I was originally a citizen of the Department for the Environment working in the Northern Regional Office and am now a Department for Communities and Local Government citizen working in the Government Office for the North East

2. I have been an EO for nearly 10 years. One of the attractions to becoming a civil servant was the terms and conditions. I have always had the comfort of knowing that should I ever become subject of either early redundancy/retirement that my terms and conditions would adequately provide for myself and my family’s needs. Should the proposals, currently under consideration be ratified, my terms and conditions will drastically be changed without consultation.

3. As previously stated I work in the North East and given the harsh cuts that are expected to be announced, following the Government’s Spending Review, and the fact that the North East is heavily dependent on the public sector there are likely to be very few, if any, employment opportunities for me and my colleagues.

4. I am becoming increasingly distressed due to the Bills removal of what I consider to be my accrued rights. My family and I will face severe financial hardship. Over my civil service career any financial decisions I have taken have been made in the sure knowledge of my terms and conditions if early redundancy/retirement became an issue. All of the uncertainty and anxiety is impacting on our health and wellbeing and causing immense stress. My husband is self employed and employs one of our son’s who is married with two young children to support. My husband and son work in an industry which is also being heavily hit by the Government’s austerity measures. Through no fault of our own I find myself with more stress and worry at a time when, approaching mid fifties, should have been able to begin to feel reasonably financially secure and looking forward to the future. How can it be fair for an employer to just rip up a contract, without any consultation, stripping away terms and conditions that I (and colleagues) have based our financial decisions on for our future? No other employer would be allowed to simply change the law when it suits them!

5. My salary is £24,054 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