Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party




spotElection campaigns



spotSocialist women


spotYouth and Students

All keywords

Post Office keywords:

Post Office (79)

Royal Mail (158)

Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1268)

Anti-fascist (566)

Anti-racism (708)

Anti-war (1513)

Asylum (220)

Black and Asian (398)

Children (393)

CNWP (108)

Corporate crime (2)

Disability (202)

Education (4018)

Election campaigns (2494)

Environment (617)

EU (461)

Finance (107)

Food (274)

Health and safety (36)

Health and welfare (320)

Housing (1072)

Human Rights (388)

LGBT Pride (143)

Local government (2220)

Local services (3704)

Low pay (521)

Migration (58)

Nationalisation (151)

New workers party (470)

NHS (1886)

Pensions (714)

Post Office (223)

Poverty (586)

Privatisation (1038)

Public Services (1160)

Socialism (893)

Socialist (46)

Sport (200)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (95)

Students (1870)

The state (1389)

Transport (559)

TUSC (1006)

Welfare rights (724)

Women (800)

Workplace and TU campaigns (8388)

Youth (1996)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity

Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 961, 6 September 2017: Fight council cuts - back the Brum bin strikers!

Search site for keywords: Pensions - Workers - Pension - Green - Government - Strike - CWU - BT - TUC - Union - Royal Mail - Equity - BMW - Car workers - Health

Bosses' pensions robbery

Money which should have gone on workers' pensions has gone on bosses' profits and dividends, photo (Creative Commons)

Money which should have gone on workers' pensions has gone on bosses' profits and dividends, photo (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter

Pensions are back in the headlines with the news that FTSE 350 companies' pension deficits are equivalent to 70% of their annual profits. For decades, bosses have been closing workers' 'final salary' pension schemes - also called 'defined benefit' (DB) - both to new entrants and existing members.

DB schemes are based on a percentage of final salary multiplied by the number of years in the scheme. Sometimes they are replaced with a far less generous 'defined contribution' schemes or 'career average' pensions. In the private sector the number of workers in final salary schemes fell to 600,000 in 2013, from 1.4 million in 2006.

The latest company to scrap its final salary pensions is BT. BT had already closed its DB scheme to new entrants back in 2001.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has threatened strike action unless the company reverses course. Recently BMW car workers and Atomic Weapons Establishment workers went on strike to defend their pensions.

Earlier this year Royal Mail said it would shut its DB scheme in March 2018. As a result of closure the CWU said a 50-year-old postie earning 25,000 a year and retiring at 65 would lose 4,392 a year, or more than 100,000 over the course of their retirement.

Companies axing their DB schemes claim that most pension pots - 74% - are in deficit, and the deficit is growing, making them unsustainable. Although top directors continue to have their final salary schemes generously topped up - see TUC's annual 'PensionsWatch' report.

However the Pensions Protection Fund, established by the government, flatly contradicts this claim, saying most of the funds currently in deficit will return to health in 15 years' time. Multinational financial services firm PwC points out the recent rise in equity markets has shaved 20 billion off the overall deficit.

Moreover the government's recently published green (consultation) paper said that DB schemes are not unaffordable. It stated that FTSE 350 companies on average paid out five times more in shareholders' dividends then they put towards their pension pot deficits.

The most notorious example of this practice was of course BHS. Its then owner Sir Philip Green looted hundreds of millions from the company in dividends resulting in the pension fund going from surplus to a 571 million deficit. Infamously, Green was pictured lounging on his 100 million superyacht in the Mediterranean while BHS workers were thrown on the dole.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018