UK - Unions are threatening to take transport contractor Alstom UK to court over the way early retirement penalties were added to the final salary pension scheme.
The French-owned company has doubled the penalty from 2% of salary to 4% for anyone retiring before the age of 65.
But many staff said they were unaware the company had made the changes as it announced them through its website.
Unions are outraged by the company’s action and lack of consultation and point out that one of the scheme’s member-nominated trustees claimed he was not informed about the change.
Amicus-MSF regional officer Tom Keogh said: “We’ve had a series of national meetings with the company because we are complaining quite vociferously about how the decision was made.
“It wasn’t done in line with correct procedure.”
One employee said staff were not informed about the changes until nearly a week after they had taken effect when the secretary to the trustees, David Curtis, posted details on the firm’s website.
But an Alstom spokeswoman said the company had to make the penalty increase to ensure the funding position of the scheme.
“Every member has received a joint company/trustee letter explaining their reasons for the changes and the matter has been discussed with both the trade unions and the company’s pensions consultative committee,” she said.
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