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Barclays' Staff To Vote On Strike Action Over Pension Scheme Closure

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Barclays' staff to vote on strike action over pension scheme closure

Around 25,000 staff at Barclays are to vote on industrial action in protest at the bank’s proposal to close its final salary pension scheme.

Unite said its members are ‘incensed’ at the bank’s plan to close the scheme for around 17,000 existing members. In a consultative ballot 92% of Barclays' staff said they wanted to be balloted by the union on industrial action.

Barclays’ final salary scheme was closed to new entrants in 1997 but remained open to new accruals from existing members. However, last month the company announced that it was planning to close the scheme altogether from December, and shift employees into a defined contribution scheme instead.

The Unite ballot will be held in August, with any strike action taking place in September. Any industrial action could prove costly for Barclays, with Unite representing around 25,000 employees across the bank’s operations.

Unite’s move could also become a focal point for other employees angry at the scaling back of employer pension provision.

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary at Unite, said it was unacceptable that Barclays was proposing a ‘unilateral change to workers pensions’.

‘Unite members will not stand by as their employer rides roughshod over their retirement security,’ Simpson said.

‘The long-serving and dedicated workforce views this pension proposal as a betrayal by their employer. ‘

The Barclays ballot will also send a strong message to other private sector employers, Simpson said.

‘Unite will not accept businesses using the economic downturn as a means to erode the important terms and conditions of our members,’ he said. ‘Unite has proposed viable alternatives to Barclays in order to make the cost savings they argue are essential for the pension scheme to be viable. The company has failed to engage with the union on these suggestions. We would urge them to go back to the drawing board in order to avert damaging strike action.’

These bloody idiots are lucky to have a job, let alone a pension scheme of any sort. Barclay's is one of the bad banks and should be out of business.

Sorry, I have little sympathy for those who choose to work for morally irresponsible outfits like this and other big British banks. Do these donkey's not read the newspapers?

Anyway, rant over. This will signal a rush to the exit by all the big financial players as far as gold plated pensions go.

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But is it not time that people stood up to these employers? Barclays, good or bad, is a highly profitable business. They are trying to exploit current circumstances by taking agreed pension entitlements from rank and file workers.

I do not dissent from the view that pensions are becoming unaffordable given life expectancy, but the answer is to put a cap on the maximum payable, not stealing from the low paid.

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I never understood why those people currently on a final salary scheme should fight to keep it open, why should it matter to them, they're all right Jack. Now I think I've got it. They don't want it to close to new people as its this new blood that's going to pay for their pensions when they retire. Have I got that right?

Incidentally, I'm on a final salary pension scheme, should I be worried?

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But is it not time that people stood up to these employers? Barclays, good or bad, is a highly profitable business. They are trying to exploit current circumstances by taking agreed pension entitlements from rank and file workers.

I do not dissent from the view that pensions are becoming unaffordable given life expectancy, but the answer is to put a cap on the maximum payable, not stealing from the low paid.

Hmm, I'd put it more like, 'they are slipperier' and 'more entrenched' and 'more manipulative' than the others.

Highly profitable? I don't think so. If they declared all of their off balance sheet losses and properly paid their taxes, they would be history. Just remember who controls the media over here before you make claims about any banks profitability.

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It's a salary cut in so many words.

We should all be thankful for a bowl of rice and a cup of water a day from our over-lords.

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But is it not time that people stood up to these employers? Barclays, good or bad, is a highly profitable business. They are trying to exploit current circumstances by taking agreed pension entitlements from rank and file workers.

I do not dissent from the view that pensions are becoming unaffordable given life expectancy, but the answer is to put a cap on the maximum payable, not stealing from the low paid.

I disagree it levels the playing field

Newer workers did not have the option of a final salary scheme

This is just stopping longer serving employees from getting additional entitlments on a final salary basis and moving all workers on to a defined contribution scheme

The stable door has been shut for a while...

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I never understood why those people currently on a final salary scheme should fight to keep it open, why should it matter to them, they're all right Jack. Now I think I've got it. They don't want it to close to new people as its this new blood that's going to pay for their pensions when they retire. Have I got that right?

Incidentally, I'm on a final salary pension scheme, should I be worried?

No, they're going to close it to existing members - like you.

How would you like a salary cut right now and forever more?

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I never understood why those people currently on a final salary scheme should fight to keep it open, why should it matter to them, they're all right Jack. Now I think I've got it. They don't want it to close to new people as its this new blood that's going to pay for their pensions when they retire. Have I got that right?

Incidentally, I'm on a final salary pension scheme, should I be worried?

Don't worry, whoever you work for government or private, you wont be on a final salary scheme on your future contributions for much longer ;)

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I never understood why those people currently on a final salary scheme should fight to keep it open, why should it matter to them, they're all right Jack. Incidentally, I'm on a final salary pension scheme, should I be worried?

because if the scheme is open, the money that goes into it pays your pension before that of the people who retire later than you. So there's more chance of you getting your pension. If you are the last lot in, the odds on there being money to pay out are much much less.

We need to close these schemes - or we need people to die younger. The money paid in by the members is sod all - the growth projected on the investments they make is laughable and the members just won't die off quick enough. They HAVE to end.

do people want a pay cut - well, the alternative for many will be no job AND no pension. If someone made a bargain 40 or 50 years ago that now turns out to be absolutely unaffordable - how would you propose dealing with it - do you keep reaping from a field until it is drained of nutrients and cannot sustain anything dies or do you make it sustainable by taking less out ?

And that's before the public sector jokers.

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because if the scheme is open, the money that goes into it pays your pension before that of the people who retire later than you. So there's more chance of you getting your pension. If you are the last lot in, the odds on there being money to pay out are much much less.

We need to close these schemes - or we need people to die younger. The money paid in by the members is sod all - the growth projected on the investments they make is laughable and the members just won't die off quick enough. They HAVE to end.

do people want a pay cut - well, the alternative for many will be no job AND no pension. If someone made a bargain 40 or 50 years ago that now turns out to be absolutely unaffordable - how would you propose dealing with it - do you keep reaping from a field until it is drained of nutrients and cannot sustain anything dies or do you make it sustainable by taking less out ?

And that's before the public sector jokers.

+1

But the other option Rachman left out is people working to 75 before picking up their pension... ;)

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Barclays' staff to vote on strike action over pension scheme closure

These bloody idiots are lucky to have a job, let alone a pension scheme of any sort. Barclay's is one of the bad banks and should be out of business.

Sorry, I have little sympathy for those who choose to work for morally irresponsible outfits like this and other big British banks. Do these donkey's not read the newspapers?

Anyway, rant over. This will signal a rush to the exit by all the big financial players as far as gold plated pensions go.

Do you have any problem with people who live in morally irresponsible countries?

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Do you have any problem with people who live in morally irresponsible countries?

Yes. Every time I travel using my British passport I worry about upsetting the locals.

I use my Canadian one more often than not.

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I hope they do go on strike, if for no other reason than it will help the country understand how it will cope without one of the major clearing houses.

My hope is that people adjust quickly and everyone realises that one less clearing bank isn't that big a deal, life goes on, and then we can really question the need to bail out HBOS and RBS

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Barclays' staff to vote on strike action over pension scheme closure

These bloody idiots are lucky to have a job, let alone a pension scheme of any sort. Barclay's is one of the bad banks and should be out of business.

I seem to remember that barclays was one of the good banks that didn't need to be bailed out. They secured additional funds from arab investors.

http://gnews.com/business/Barclays-Avoid-G...1635947602.html

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This stuff about not being affordable because it's final salary and people are living longer is just rubbish.

Pension schemes are perfectly capable of being fully funded according to their overall mortality rates.

What isn't possible in a globalised world with free capital flows is to pay UK workers (for instance) higher pay and benefits than Chindian workers.

Barclays could choose to keep the scheme open and fund it, but as we are seeing on the other thread, Bank of China (or whoever) can simply come in and compete by paying it's staff buttons and no pension at all.

The problem isn't mortality rates and funding, the problem is globalisation.

Until we're all earning the same as Chindians, have the same employment rights, H&S legislation, tax rates, etc etc etc our earnings will continue to be cut.

I can't believe people are arguing for impovershing their families and children to enrich people who are exploiting them.

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Yes. Every time I travel using my British passport I worry about upsetting the locals.

I use my Canadian one more often than not.

Well stick to your guns and leave this isle.

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This stuff about not being affordable because it's final salary and people are living longer is just rubbish.

Pension schemes are perfectly capable of being fully funded according to their overall mortality rates.

What isn't possible in a globalised world with free capital flows is to pay UK workers (for instance) higher pay and benefits than Chindian workers.

Barclays could choose to keep the scheme open and fund it, but as we are seeing on the other thread, Bank of China (or whoever) can simply come in and compete by paying it's staff buttons and no pension at all.

The problem isn't mortality rates and funding, the problem is globalisation.

Until we're all earning the same as Chindians, have the same employment rights, H&S legislation, tax rates, etc etc etc our earnings will continue to be cut.

I can't believe people are arguing for impovershing their families and children to enrich people who are exploiting them.

+1

...global wages and living standards are equalising slowly... ;)

Its just a question of how slowly :unsure:

Overall thats great news for the majority of the worlds population ;)

Not good news for house prices though :(

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This stuff about not being affordable because it's final salary and people are living longer is just rubbish.

Pension schemes are perfectly capable of being fully funded according to their overall mortality rates.

What isn't possible in a globalised world with free capital flows is to pay UK workers (for instance) higher pay and benefits than Chindian workers.

Barclays could choose to keep the scheme open and fund it, but as we are seeing on the other thread, Bank of China (or whoever) can simply come in and compete by paying it's staff buttons and no pension at all.

The problem isn't mortality rates and funding, the problem is globalisation.

Until we're all earning the same as Chindians, have the same employment rights, H&S legislation, tax rates, etc etc etc our earnings will continue to be cut.

I can't believe people are arguing for impovershing their families and children to enrich people who are exploiting them.

not quite, the Bank of Cheating Chinese and Indians (let's call it BCCI) is not really a global bank in how it would operate - you can't realistically have it just operating in Chindia and taking market in the UK and paying less - though Tesco get away with destroying the retail sector through other means.

The problem is mortality rates - if you have this enormous millstone around your neck there are so many things you CAN'T do.

And as a genuine question - have you tried to deal with a Chinese or Indian bank in India or China - it's a total and complete waste of time (same as using a Western bank's Indian or Chinese entities). Absolutely shambolic. If you use their London branches then they are marginally better (especially BoC), but on the whole, they are a joke....

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not quite, the Bank of Cheating Chinese and Indians (let's call it BCCI) is not really a global bank in how it would operate - you can't realistically have it just operating in Chindia and taking market in the UK and paying less - though Tesco get away with destroying the retail sector through other means.

The problem is mortality rates - if you have this enormous millstone around your neck there are so many things you CAN'T do.

And as a genuine question - have you tried to deal with a Chinese or Indian bank in India or China - it's a total and complete waste of time (same as using a Western bank's Indian or Chinese entities). Absolutely shambolic. If you use their London branches then they are marginally better (especially BoC), but on the whole, they are a joke....

thats what they said about Japanese cars in the 60s...

...and south korean TVs and computers in the 90s...

... they learn ;)

Besides are our banks anything better than shambolic based on half of them having to be nationalised? :(

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not quite, the Bank of Cheating Chinese and Indians (let's call it BCCI) is not really a global bank in how it would operate - you can't realistically have it just operating in Chindia and taking market in the UK and paying less - though Tesco get away with destroying the retail sector through other means.

The problem is mortality rates - if you have this enormous millstone around your neck there are so many things you CAN'T do.

And as a genuine question - have you tried to deal with a Chinese or Indian bank in India or China - it's a total and complete waste of time (same as using a Western bank's Indian or Chinese entities). Absolutely shambolic. If you use their London branches then they are marginally better (especially BoC), but on the whole, they are a joke....

Changes in mortality rates aren't something new though.

As you know scheme actuaries are paid rather handsomely for ensuring funding requirements match liabilities.

There are other reasons why employers aren't prepared to fund the schemes in future - I think it would be more honest to look at what those reasons are.

So, take away that element of 'pay' and where do you go to cut costs and stay 'competitive' next when everyone has done the same thing?

Edit: One man's millstone around their neck is another man's deferred earnings earned in good faith according to his contract of employment.

Edited by Red Kharma

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Edit: One man's millstone around their neck is another man's deferred earnings earned in good faith according to his contract of employment.

absoutely - but if the alternative is nothing at all and losing your job, what do you do ? If the money's there to FUND and pay these pensions, then fine - but it's not and it will only get worse.

I don't disagree the actuaries need shooting too - but have you ever dealt with actuaries - they don't listen to logic, they have insane models that have barmy assumptions in them and they do what they want - and they tell executive board members what they want to hear so they get reinstructed next time...... :)

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absoutely - but if the alternative is nothing at all and losing your job, what do you do ? If the money's there to FUND and pay these pensions, then fine - but it's not and it will only get worse.

I don't disagree the actuaries need shooting too - but have you ever dealt with actuaries - they don't listen to logic, they have insane models that have barmy assumptions in them and they do what they want - and they tell executive board members what they want to hear so they get reinstructed next time...... :)

Well if the money's not there because they're choosing to do this when equities have just had their biggest drop in 30 years or more, and the don't have the earnings to fund it due to their bad business practices then they could wait 5 years and see if it improves or temporarily amend benefits or increase e'ee contributions or all sorts of stuff. But there will also likely be pressure from their Arab masters in the case of Barclays. Perhaps also connected with the likely split with Barcap.

But how is it different, for instance, to you buying your house in Over Peover and then Gordon getting re-elected in 12 months time and deciding that due to the public sector millstone around our necks the only solution is a windfall tax of 100% on the sale of properties over £250k (an extreme used to illustrate my point).

Of course if competitors cut employee benefits then ultimately everyone must follow, and since power has shifted away from western e'ees towards global capital in the last 20 years, there's not much can be done about it unless we unwind globalisation and implement protectionist policies - Which I would prefer to the alternative - which is where we're headed currently.

Pensions are just accrued salary. It's simply stealing from employees to increase the return for the board and the owners. It's workhouse economics. We're going back 100 years, not forward sadly.

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Barclays' staff to vote on strike action over pension scheme closure

These bloody idiots are lucky to have a job, let alone a pension scheme of any sort. Barclay's is one of the bad banks and should be out of business.

Sorry, I have little sympathy for those who choose to work for morally irresponsible outfits like this and other big British banks. Do these donkey's not read the newspapers?

Anyway, rant over. This will signal a rush to the exit by all the big financial players as far as gold plated pensions go.

so they should just allow their terms and conditions to be changed as their employer sees fit?

Most if not all of these people would have been totally unaware of their employers morals when they joined, how can they be to blame and why should they be punished?

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Barclays' staff to vote on strike action over pension scheme closure

These bloody idiots are lucky to have a job, let alone a pension scheme of any sort. Barclay's is one of the bad banks and should be out of business.

Sorry, I have little sympathy for those who choose to work for morally irresponsible outfits like this and other big British banks. Do these donkey's not read the newspapers?

Anyway, rant over. This will signal a rush to the exit by all the big financial players as far as gold plated pensions go.

I worked at barclays between 2001 and 2006. a significant majority of those in the scheme i would imagine are more lowly paid staff; i say this because in the head office team (part of finance) i worked in almost no one was a member as they'd all come to work for barclays after 1997. ambitious professionals generally more around jobs and don't stay in one company for that length of time.

Further, the final salary scheme meant that the members didn't want to leave the bank and pursue other jobs even if it wasn't right for them anymore. Also it meant that when redundancies came (and I saw this first hand) those in the scheme were more protected as there was a big cost of getting rid of them compared to other people.

Additionally other than john varley none of the board are in the scheme either so those making the decisions etc don't have a VI.

Edited by grizzly bear

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