Labour Research September 2009


IBM pensions backlash

Hundreds of angry IBM staff are joining the Unite general union in reaction to the company’s planned pension changes. IBM wants to close its final salary pension schemes to future accrual and restrict early retirement on enhanced terms.

Unite national officer Peter Skyte accused the company of “using the recession as a cloak” for its actions despite strong financial results. People in their mid-50s could lose up to £200,000 from their expected retirement pension, the union calculates, while up to 1,000 could opt for early retirement before new provisions apply next April.

Similar six-figure losses are predicted for pension scheme members at the Fujitsu IT firm, who were last month taking part in a consultative ballot on pay and pensions. In Fujitsu’s case, pension scheme rules mean that it would have to dismiss and re-engage employees in order to make the changes.