UK - Trade union Amicus is pressing employers to open the JIB Pension Scheme to electrical contractors in Scotland - and increase contribution rates.
The engineering and manufacturing union is angry that the £110m industrywide defined contribution scheme is open to contractors in England and Wales while those in Scotland only have access to a non-contributory stakeholder.
Amicus also wants employer contributions to increase from the current rate of 2.5%, which it describes as “amazingly low”.
Amicus scottish regional officer Bobby Buirds said: “We want to introduce a pension scheme with better benefits.”
But he added: “It is a long and drawn out process.”
Meanwhile, Amicus members in the plumbing industry have voted in favour of changes to their industrywide scheme – the £865m Plumbing & Mechanical Services Industry Pension Scheme – which has been hit by falling investment returns over the past three years.
Employee contributions will rise from 3.3% to nearly 3.8%, while employers’ contribution rates will rise one percentage point to 7.5%.Pre-retirement bonuses are to be reduced and instead of being raised in line with prices will, from April 6, be in line with price inflation.
National officer Geoff Whitlow – in a letter to Amicus members – said: “We would remind you that Plumbing Pensions continues to represent excellent value for money and the increases will assist in protecting benefits long into the future.”
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers