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RBS launch ‘shameless’ £18 million attack on empl...

RBS launches ‘shameless’ £18 million attack on employee pension scheme

21 March 2016

A new attack on staff pensions is the latest way for RBS to hand down the cost of historic mismanagement to the workforce said Unite, the trade union for UK bank workers.

RBS plans to pass £18 million of employer’s national insurance costs down to 27,000 employees who are members of the defined benefit (final salary) pension scheme.

The proposal follows government changes to state pensions, which will see the bank’s employer’s national insurance (NI) contributions increase by £18 million per year.  In response, the bank plans to hand this cost down to employees by forcing staff to pay an extra 2 per cent of their salary into their defined benefit pension scheme, a move which threatens to wipe out pay rises for low paid, front line workers.

The new charges will be introduced in two stages with a 1 per cent increase in October 2016 and another 1 per cent increase in 2017. These new charges are in addition to the employees’ own NI costs, which are set to rise in April. 

RBS has set aside £2 billion for litigation, mis-selling and ‘goodwill impairments.’ This money, earmarked to pay for the bank’s historic mismanagement, could have been used to easily absorb the £18 million increase to NI.

This latest attack comes after Unite research reveals the impact of the pressure cooker environment within RBS on staff health. In a members' survey, 68 per cent of RBS staff reported work-related stress, 62 per cent have considered leaving the bank, 57 per cent are struggling with everyday payments such as household bills, and 85 per cent are having to work unpaid overtime every week.*

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer for finance, said: “Today’s announcement leaves RBS workers asking why they alone must carry the financial burden of an employer’s rising NI costs when they are already working more for less, with tax bills that stretch family budgets to the limit.

“This shameless move will shatter the fragile trust RBS has worked to restore since the bank’s previous regime ended in calamity. Once again the bank has found a new way to hand down the costs of historic mismanagement to the workforce.

“RBS employees, who have struggled to bring the bank back from the brink deserve better. It is not too late for the bank to think again and withdraw these unfair charges.”

ENDS

For more information contact: Ben Norman on Ben.norman@unitetheunion.org or 07525 590 075

Statistics from Unite survey of RBS members, carried out 2015.

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