The Communication Workers Union is “on the verge of securing an agreement” with the Royal Mail Group on the pensions and pay of its members, it has announced.
In an update posted on social media on Friday 12 January, CWU deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger told members: “I am absolutely clear in saying to you today that I think we are on the verge of securing that agreement.
“We are either on the verge of something incredibly special I think and something that we can be extremely proud of as a union... or we will break down and we would be entering a period of huge disruption as we fight for those issues.”
While Pullinger reiterated the fact that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” he noted that the union is now in the position where it will be drafting the agreement on pensions.
“We will have, I think something that most people doubted but we will invent and will have a new pension scheme for all of our members. All of us will be in the same scheme. It will massively improve all of those thousands of people in the defined contribution scheme, it will improve their potential outcomes,” he said.
Pullinger explained that the drafted scheme will be based on wage in retirement, will be a scheme of shared risk with an element of defined benefit and an element of shared risk in the form of collective DC.
“We are already, us and the employer lobbying and campaigning government, ministers and civil servants to get in place the right legislative framework for us to enable our scheme.
“There will be a period of transition before we go into that new scheme.”
Pullinger added that the union is on the cusp of reaching an agreement, which will give its members security in employment, standard of living as well as retirement security on an equal basis. CWU is drafting an agreement on pay for full-time and part-time workers, as well as re-considering working hours, the update confirmed.
Early in 2017 Royal Mail confirmed its plans for a new pension scheme that comprises of a defined benefit cash balance scheme and a defined contribution scheme that will be funded within its current £400m annual pension contribution.
The company also offered its employees a choice between a DB scheme and a DC scheme, which have been set up as new sections of the Royal Mail Pension Plan. Royal Mail is one of few companies replacing one DB scheme with another.