UK - The Confederation of British Industry has been accused of being "mean and schizophrenic" for trying to cut pensions for transferred staff.
The CBI has attacked proposals in the Pensions Bill which aim to ensure that occupational pension scheme members retain their benefits if they are forced to transfer to another company.
The new employer will be forced to match contributions up to 6% of pay. But the CBI tried to table an amendment to the Bill to ensure that if the rules went ahead, employers would only have to match contributions up to 3% of pay.
The CBI said that extending transfer of undertakings regulations (TUPE) would “impede corporate activity by creating uncertainty and impose cost burdens”.
But the move was attacked by Liberal Democrat pensions spokesman Lord Oakeshott who told the Lords it was “a classic case of CBI schizophrenia”.
He added: “The CBI is very good on the general policy and saying how we should take pensions much more seriously, but when it comes to the detail I am afraid it is too mean.”
Pensions minister Baroness Hollis agreed: “Certainly 3%, even matched, would not float most recipients into an adequate standard of living - and certainly not a replacement income based on a private pension of more than about 30 to 40%. That is unacceptable.”
Head of pensions at trade union Amicus, Julian Richards, said: “We want members to be provided with a pension of equivalent value than their previous employer. They have been forced to transfer through no fault of their own and they should not suffer any cut in benefits.”
And EEF deputy director of employment policy David Yeandle said: “On balance, we think this is a fair proposal from the government. We are glad it did not agree to the union proposal for employers to completely match the scheme.”
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