Non-contribution to Pension Schemes by Employers

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2003 Energy Service Group Conference
25 February 2003
Carried as Amended

We note with concern the proposals currently being considered by this ‘Socialist Government’ that employees may be permitted to work to 70 in order to provide adequate pension provisions for their retirement! This comes against a background of over 200 companies closing their final salary scheme in 2002 alone, and the knowledge that Energy Companies are using any actuarial valuation surpluses to avoid paying their contributions. This not only raises concerns over the long-term viability of the scheme, but also prevents regular positive benefits being implemented as part of on-going arrangements.

We call upon the Energy Service Group Executive, in conjunction with the UNISON Pension Section, to publicise the current arrangements of each Energy Pension Scheme, and to identify key differences between schemes. We call upon the Energy Group Executive to develop a strategy on company pension schemes which includes awareness training being made available to lay representatives.

Finally we call upon the Energy Service Group Executive to spearhead a national “Hands Off Our Pensions” campaign to expose the way in which final salary schemes are abused and to start mobilising branches and regions in support of this campaign. UNISON should consider the use of industrial action if any more schemes are put under threat.