Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by David Mell (SU 67)

I am a 55 year old man currently employed within NERIP, the regional observatory for the North East. I am a permanent full-time employee of One North East, the regional development agency for North East England. I shall be adversely affected by the changes proposed by the Superannuation Bill.

I joined the public sector 6 years ago and am a member of the Civil Service Premium Pension Scheme. My decision to join the public sector was based in part on the value of the total package on offer to me at the time. This package included not only the direct salary payments but also other benefits, such as the pension scheme and the associated compensation scheme in the event of redundancy. I would add that at the time, I took a substantial reduction in pay when I joined my current employer but I felt, nevertheless, that the package on offer, when considered in its totality, made it worthwhile for me to accept the offer of employment made to me by One NorthEast.

I would urge you to reconsider the conditions imposed within the Bill. My employer recently made a call for voluntary redundancy and I responded positively to that call. However, my employer chose not to offer me voluntary redundancy on the basis that my redundancy costs are too high. I will respond positively to the next call, which my employer has intimated will be made within the next month or so,  but strongly suspect that I will be met with the same response. The difficulty I face therefore, is that whilst I am willing to volunteer for redundancy I am likely to be caught in a situation of compulsory redundancy in March 2012 when the RDAs are finally abolished. I would urge that the conditions within the Bill be changed so that where an employee is made compulsorily redundant but has responded positively to a call for voluntary redundancy with say the previous 12 months then the redundancy should be treated as one made on voluntary grounds. I will feel very harshly treated if despite having offered myself as a candidate for voluntary redundancy on more than one occasion I find myself in a position where I am made compulsorily redundant on less favourable terms.

September 2010