In a previous Newsletter, we reported that we’d written to Mr Harry Baines, Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustees Limited asking it to join the legal action on behalf of the tens of thousands of pension scheme members whose benefits are going to be reduced from 2030 onwards.
Members will recall that the Trustees of the BT, Ford and Marks and Spencer pension schemes have a launched a judicial review of the Government’s decision to replace the retail price index (RPI) with the consumer price index including housing costs (CPIH). The argument is that the UK Statistical Authority didn’t have the authority to reformulate RPI and the Government failed to take account of the effect such a decision would have on legacy users of RPI.
Tens of thousands of Lloyds staff would see their pension benefits reduced because of the changes to way pension increases would be calculated in future.
We have received no response from the Chairman of the Trustee Board to our letter. Our letter will have put the Trustee of the Pension Scheme in a very difficult position, given that it is under an obligation to protect the benefits of pension scheme members, because in all probability it will be under pressure from the Bank not to get in the way of what will be massive cost reductions. To get no response on this important issue for pension scheme members is unacceptable. The Pension Trustee Board has a clear duty in this area and the issue needs to be grasped.
When Lloyds moved to de-democratise its Pension Trustee Board by abolishing free elections, I told members that the move was designed to reduce the scrutiny of the Trustee Board by people not under the influence or control of Lloyds which has a direct interest in reducing the cost of members’ pensions. On this issue the democracy pigeons have come home to roost.
Thousands of members have already written to their MPs, using a letter produced by the union and we are now asking them to write to the Chairman of the Trustee Board. Mr Baines can try and hide from us, but he can’t hide from scheme members. The union has produced a letter for members to send to Mr Harry Baines, Chairman of the Lloyds Banking Group Trustee Board. Please click this text to download the letter. You should include your current home address in the top right-hand corner.
The Trustee says that: “We’re here to act in the best interests of scheme members”. On this issue so far, there is precious little evidence of the Board doing that.
Members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).