UK - Pension deductions from low-paid workers are subsidising the Royal Bank of Scotland's huge profits, trade unionists claim.
Finance union Unifi wants RBS to alter its clawback policies – the amount of basic state pension the firm deducts from payments members receive from the occupational scheme – or give staff an increase in their pensionable salaries.
The union claims RBS – which posted pre-tax profits of £7.1bn for 2003, an 11% increase on the previous year – is discriminating against low earners, especially female part-timers who have smaller saving pots.
Clawback currently applies to all pensionable service built up by RBS staff up to December 31, 2001. Employees of NatWest – which was acquired by RBS in March 2000 – are not subjected to clawback.
A Unifi spokesman said: “When we’ve raised the issue of clawback with them, they say that they are committed to employee pensions.
“To some extent, it is: ‘We’ve got an open final salary scheme, what are you worrying about?’.”
The union’s negotiating officer, Clare Moody, added: “This will be the fourth year in a row that some staff have not had a rise in pensionable pay, so in real terms their salaries are being reduced year on year.
“These low-paid staff are subsidising RBS’s huge profits. It cannot plead poverty and cannot have any excuse for lowering staff living standards in this way.”
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