Superannuation Bill

Memorandum from M ichael Lazzari (SU 73)

1. I am a 53 year old PCSPS scheme member, joining the Civil Service and scheme on 20 th June 1977, and have nearly 3 3 . 2 5 years of continuous service to date .

2. I began my service in the Health an d Safety Executive, then part of the Department of Employment group , working for over four years, then moving to the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) after five years and then on to Department of Employment and the Employment Service /JobCentre Plus for thirteen years . I then moved on to the Government Office for the NorthEast, part of which transferred in to the newly established Regional Development Agency fo r the NorthEast of England , One NorthEast in 1999/2000, where I have survived several organisational restructuring rounds and I am currently engaged in rural economic and social regeneration.

3. I have been promoted several times and have consistently updated by personal skills and competences to match that required by my various employers, whose roles , as can be see n above, have been varied and complex. During my career, I have always tried to maintain a high quality of work and service to the public.

4. During this time the membership of the PCSPS has provided a significant financial safety net for both me and my small family (my wife has been unable to work for several years due to poor health), and the PCSPS has been an important factor in remaining in the Civil/Public Service, when the private sector may have presented a more financially lucrative career path in the short term. Succes s ive Government’s have exhorted all employees in all sectors to invest in their own financial security and I made a number of career decisions to remain in the public service.

5. As a long serving public servant in the last decade of my allowable service, the Bill, if passed, will seriously affect the future financial security of not just me directly, but my family also. A s I understand it, t he cap will result in a reduction of two thirds of my existing entitlement. As the Coalition Government have announced the closure of all R egional D evelopment A gencies by March 2012 , I will be left without a job and with little hope of finding alternative employment due to my age and lack of recognised qualifications, and the longstanding depressed economic conditions prevailing in the North East of England.

6. The over large public sector in this region is not just a result of the demise of the old heavy industries, but also to successive Governments direct policies to decentralise and disperse public sector job s to the regions. It has been within successive Governments gift to control the size of the public sector however they have chosen not to exert any real control over its growth.

7. If passed, this Bill will mean that my accrued pension will not become payable until I am 60. Until now, had I been made redundant , I would have effectively been given my full pension immediately . Now, e ven at the age of 60, when my pension becomes payable, I will find that my expected pension will be substantially reduced from that which I have been building and effectively had been promised over the past 3 3 years, yet I will have neither the time n or the opportunity to make alternative pension arrangements to make up for the substantial financial losses the Coalition Government are imposing on me with little notice or meaningful consultation, which in my estimation is unfair and against natural justice .

8. I also note that , given that I will receive such a sufficient pension so that I must pay full Council Tax and that I will be also taxed on my modified PCSPS pension, I will not be eligible to receive any form of state benefit s . Consequently, as a result of the Bill s removal of what are considered to be accrued rights over many years , I will be facing severe  financial hardship through no fault of my own.

9. I urge you to reconsider this Bill and find a fairer way of meeting the national deficit. I have no objection to the PCSPS being modified in principle, however to my knowledge the Coalition Government has not even undertaken any individual impact assessments of the Bill ’s provisions, nor have they adequately consulted with the recognised Trade Unions to date , which is against employment law an d good industrial relations practice. It will have a severe impact especially on those who have been in the PCSPS and CSCS, yet it will make only a relatively small contribution to meeting the country’s financial deficit , which have been caused in large part by the greed of much better remunerated bankers and industry leaders , and successive Governments and the Bank of England’s lack of control s and oversights .

September 2010