Thursday 24 November 2011

A reply to Nick Gibb

With the Government panicking at the thought of millions of workers coming out on strike together next week, we should expect Ministers to turn to their ‘dirty-tricks’ department to try (but fail !) to undermine our action.

However, whether Data Protection legislation allows Nick Gibb MP, “Minister of State for Schools” to send today’s unsolicited and misleading email to thousands of teachers’ personal emails addresses, is still being investigated.

Obviously hurt by the effect of the National NUT’s pensions loss calculator, the email suggests teachers visit the DfE’s website to use their pensions calculator instead! But the DfE calculator doesn’t show you how much a teacher stands to lose from the pensions robbery! It also uses some debatable projections for ‘career averages’.

The email does have to admit that there are three things that are set to change:
  1. “A rebalancing of employee and employer contributions” – i.e PAY MORE!
  2. A move from a ‘final salary’ to a ‘career average’ pension – i.e. GET LESS!
  3. “A phased increase to teachers' Normal Pension Age” – i.e RETIRE OLDER!
In other words, cutting through the distortion – it is indeed PENSIONS ROBBERY!

My colleague on the NUT Executive for Inner London, Alex Kenny, has produced this model email to be sent in reply to Nick Gibb:

Mr Nick Gibb MP
House of Commons
London SW1 1AA

Changes to the Teacher Pension Scheme

Dear Mr Gibb,
Thank you for your correspondence, the contents of which are noted.
I note that the Department’s Pensions Calculator does not make a comparison with the pension I would get under the current scheme; my union’s calculator does exactly this and I am shocked by how much I stand to lose.
Research carried out by my union shows that, since the Teacher Pension Scheme was established in 1923, more money has been paid into it than has been paid out. The excess figure is more than £46bn.
This would seem to show that our pension scheme is affordable and sustainable in the long-term, especially as the National Audit Office tells me the costs are falling as planned.
Having made these points, I will let you have my answer in full on Wednesday November 30th.
With best wishes,

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