It’s a complex subject, so bear with me. The issue is about how pensions, in particular Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs), are increased under the rules of the Bank’s defined benefit (final salary) pension schemes.
The outcome is straightforward. The pensions of female members of the pension schemes increase at a lower rate than the pensions of male members. That is discriminatory on the grounds of sex, or, put another way, women receive less pay than men for doing the same work.
Sex discrimination is unlawful and having taken advice from a leading QC we believe that an Employment Tribunal will conclude that the pensions for female members should be increased at the higher rate that applies to men.
The discrimination affects female members who:
- Joined any of the Bank’s final salary pension
- Joined one of these schemes before 6 April 1997.
Male members of the Bank of Scotland and Birmingham Midshires Pension Schemes could have similar claims because part of their pensions is not guaranteed to increase at all. The final salary schemes affected are:
- The HBOS Final Salary Pension Scheme (which includes the Bank of Scotland 1976 Pension Scheme, the Halifax Retirement Fund, the Equitable Life Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, the Birmingham Midshires Pension Scheme and the Clerical Medical Staff Superannuation Fund).
- The Lloyds Bank Pension Scheme No 1 (which includes the Scottish Widows Retirement Benefits Scheme and the C&G Final Salary Pension Scheme)
- The Lloyds Bank Pension Scheme No 2.
What’s It Worth?
BTU’s actuarial adviser has looked at a range of members and estimated that the overall difference in benefits, depending on the calculating method used, could be worth up to £2,000 per female member of staff.
That’s yours and your families money and you are entitled to it.
The Next Steps
BTU is putting together a class action lawsuit to present to the Employment Tribunal on behalf of female members who are the victims of discrimination.
There are 13,000 active staff in the HBOS Final Salary Pension Schemes and we want them to join their Lloyds colleagues as part of BTU’s class action lawsuit. If you are a member of one of the HBOS Final Salary Pension Schemes and joined the Bank before 6th April 1997 then you need to assert your legal rights now to protect your future pension benefits.
We appreciate that many heritage HBOS staff are members of Unite and Accord, so we are going to allow those staff to join BTU’s pensions campaign. You can join the Union and register for our class action lawsuit by contacting the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.