Pensions

The pensions wealth gap

The UK’s pension fund bosses control about £600 billion. Meanwhile the basic state pension has been progressively run down so that today, at £79.60 per week, it is only 15% of average earnings. On present trends it will be down to 10% of average earnings by 2020.

Network Rail dispute

By a RMT member

The RMT is holding talks with bosses at Network Rail in their dispute over pay and the closure of the pension scheme to new workers. Both signal and infrastructure staff. have been offered the reinstatement of their Christmas bonus (£35) which they lost last year, a 25% discount on season tickets for work related travel and a Joint Working Party (talks) on pensions.

We need united action for decent pensions

By a PCS member

Research published by J P Morgan Fleming in May 2004 revealed that nearly two-thirds of the UK's top pension funds have closed their final salary pension schemes to new members. According to the TUC these closures have already saved employers £4 billion in contributions.

In one of the most recent developments, RMT members working for Network Rail have voted to strike over the closure of their final salary pension scheme to new staff. Quite obviously, once a company has succeeded in dividing workers in this way there is every temptation on greedy bosses to attack the relatively "privileged" existing scheme members - worsening the accrual rate, increasing the retirement age and so on. And there have been a large number of strikes in many companies over this issue.

Pensions fight needs working-class politics

The AWL offers some ideas for trade unionists on the 19 June TUC pensions demonstration (assembling from 11am at the Embankment, London). Download pdf here.

THE UK's pension fund bosses control about £600 billion. Meanwhile the basic state pension has been progressively run down so that today, at £79.60 per week, it is only 15% of average earnings. On present trends it will be down to 10% of average earnings by 2020.

Strategy needed to convince

By a rail worker

A ballot of 7,000 Network Rail workers by the RMT union has gone in favour of industrial action.

The result was 58% in favour (2,947) and 42% against (2,246). However, the RMT was forced to admit that only a very narrow majority of the signalling workers - they key section involved - voted for action.