Maintain Occupational / Public Service Pensions Link to RPI not CPI
The Government announced last June that from April 2011 onwards, public sector and state pensions would be increased each year in line with the Consumer Prices Index instead of the Retail Prices Index. The Government has sought to introduce this change as it will make the provision of public pensions cheaper.
Most experts agree that pension increases are likely to be on average 1% lower each year as a result of these changes - and over a pensioner's lifetime, that will amount to a very serious loss.
This is not just an issue for the public sector. The change will affect many private sector pension schemes too. Many schemes, particularly those that originally came from the public sector (the BT pension scheme for example), are also affected by this Government policy, as their rules stipulate that pensions should be increased in line with the Pensions (Increases) Order. BT announced last November that BTPS pensions would in future be increased in line with CPI and Connect Sector branches have already been campaigning on this issue.
Prospect (A Civil Service Union) has been lobbying Parliament on the RPI-CPI switch and MPs supported by the union have been active too. But now need you to help, they have just learnt that there is to be a crucial vote in the House of Commons on the issue on Thursday 17th February. Apologies for the short notice but the government has decided to rush this through without advanced notice of the date.
What can you do to help?
Email your local MP before the vote in the Commons on 17 February.
A model email letter can be found at http://library.prospect.org.uk/id/2011/00201. We are keen to see what feedback you get from you MP so please send us copies of the responses you receive. You can email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find your MP's email address and details at http://www.theyworkforyou.com
Other information and briefing on this issue is available on the Prospect website. This is only the first of a number of major challenges that will follow on pensions in the next few months. It is vital that the greatest possible opposition is brought to bear on the Government over the RPI-CPI issue. Make your voice heard - don't rely on others!
Daryl Mullins commented
RPI is a more accurate measure of inflation than CPI and therefore pension rises should be based on RPI