HRP staff may go on strike over pension scheme closure

Written by Jack Gray
29/11/2018

Historical Royal Palaces (HRP) staff, including Beefeaters and Jewel House Wardens, could go on strike for the first time in 55 years over the closure of their pension scheme.

Employees and members of the GMB union who have been affected by the scheme closure will be balloted tomorrow (30 November) on whether they should take strike action.

GMB regional officer, Mick Ainsley said: "GMB members have made it very clear that they want more negotiations and are prepared to talk. Strike action is the last thing they want to do, but HRP have left them with nowhere else to go.”

HRP decided to close its final salary pension scheme from 1 April 2019 after closing it to new members in 2002.

However, the GMB says that staff were promised a continuation of their pensions when their benefits were transferred from the civil service to HRP.

Despite this, GMB claim that the changes will mean members’ final salary pensions will be replaced with an inferior scheme.

Ainsley added: "Pensions really matter to our members and in the day-to-day contacts we have with them across HRP, the importance to them of continuing to be able to build the pension they were promised when they were transferred to HRP from the civil service is emphasised to us over and over again.

"HRP’s decision to close the scheme came as a great surprise. Difficulties or the ability to afford the pension had never been muted before and members just see this attack on their standard of living for the rest of their lives.

“HRP are just jumping on the bandwagon as they see other companies ending good defined benefit schemes, preferring instead to let the tax payer pick up the shortfall in the years to come.”

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