Pensions  

Capita employees consider strike over pensions

Capita employees consider strike over pensions

Outsourcing company Capita could be facing industrial action due to changes to its defined benefit scheme after Unite started a ballot today (August 14).

The union, which represents Capita's staff, is consulting its member on a possible strike over the decision to transfer workers from the current DB to the defined contribution pension plan. 

Possible industrial action would affect Capita’s contracts with Prudential, Royal London CIS, Phoenix and Royal London in Birmingham and Friends Life.

Unite has claimed the proposals will lead to workers in the scheme suffering a "massive" cut in their retirement income.

The changes, which were announced in June, mean staff could lose as much as £8,000 per year in deferred pay, according to Capita’s own figures.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said Capita’s plan was “utterly unacceptable.”

He said: “Capita’s pension proposals will have far reaching consequences for the retirement of many Unite members. Some staff will lose a shocking 70 per cent of their retirement income."

Mr Hook added: “Capita must urgently rethink these pensions proposals in order to prevent industrial action.”

The Capita sites where Unite members will be impacted in the event of a strike are Birmingham, Reading, Bristol, Belfast, Manchester and Stirling.

Capita is the latest company to find itself on the wrong side of its employees over its DB pension scheme, with BMW staff voting to strike over the closure of their scheme to future accruals.

Meanwhile Royal Mail has also proposed the closure of its pension plan but has since decided to offer employees the choice of joining either a defined benefit cash balance scheme or a defined contribution scheme.

Telecoms giant BT is considering the future of its defined benefit pension scheme, which is one of the largest in the UK.

maria.espadinha@ft.com