UK - Workers carrying out repairs to Liverpool council houses have held a wildcat strike over future pension provision.
Staff at Enterprise-Liverpool – a joint venture company run by Enterprise plc and the city council – are angry over plans to transfer 39 workers to another firm which will not match their existing pension benefits.
Enterprise-Liverpool, which manages repairs to the city’s 21,000 properties, pulled out of a contract to repair 6100 homes for the Cobalt Housing Association and proposed transferring the 39 employees, who are currently members of the Local Government Pension Scheme, to Ritson Mckenzie.
It has told the workers they will be transferred to its stakeholder scheme. Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians convener John Winstanley said: “These expert tradesmen have 20 or 30 years of pensions contributions at stake. It’s a complete farce and the workers have had enough.”
Liverpool city councillor Flo Clucus, executive member for housing, said:
“The council has done its best to make sure both Enterprise-Liverpool and Cobalt understand the concerns of the workforce, but this is not a matter on which the council can intervene.”
Ritson Mckenzie director Phil Howells said talks were still taking place and the firm hoped to provide “a satisfactory conclusion on all sides”.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.