Trade union in pensions dispute reforms its own scheme

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which has joined the High Court challenge to the government’s switch from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI), has made the same change to one of its pension schemes.

A briefing to PCS employees showed that one of the union’s pension schemes has shifted to CPI to align it with the civil service.

A spokesperson from PCS said: “Two of our three schemes continue to pay RPI increases. The rules of one scheme mirror the civil service scheme. When the government switched to CPI, so did this scheme.

“We are fundamentally opposed to the move and are challenging the government in court. If, as we expect, we are successful in our case against the switch to CPI, our scheme will switch back to using the RPI.”

The PCS proposals are based on an actuarial review, which showed a funding deficit in the pension scheme. PCS is working with its staff union, GMB, on how pensions are funded in the future, while retaining the pension age at 60.

A spokesperson said: “Our proposals ensure that any contribution increase will be more than offset by higher pay increases and will be subject to agreement by members.

“By contrast the government has frozen pay and is imposing higher contributions which will mean that public sector workers will have to pay more, work longer, for a lower pension.”

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