The Trustee of the Lloyds Bank Offshore Pension Scheme and the Bank are still treating men and women differently when dealing with the State Pension Deduction.
The Union represented a female member on Jersey last year who would have seen her pension reduced by £1,190 per annum or £5,950 over 5 years because of the different treatment. Following the Union’s intervention, the Trustee confirmed that the State Pension Deduction would not be taken until she started to receive her state pension, rather than when she started to get her Bank pension. The member was understandingly happy and we said we wanted “to make sure that all other female members in the same position are treated in exactly the same way”.
It now appears that the Trustee and Bank have done nothing since then and female members of staff are still suffering this injustice. The Bank and Trustee are compounding that injustice by resolving the issue for some staff but not for everyone.
We are representing one member of staff on the Isle of Man who is in exactly the same position as the member on Jersey but the Trustee and Bank are dragging their feet and fobbing her off with promises of jam tomorrow. Every month this member dips into her own savings to cover her living expenses because she’s paying a deduction for a benefit she’s not getting yet. There are other members in exactly the same position.
To recap, like most employers the Bank took the opportunity in the 1970s to contract out of the state earnings related pension scheme and pay less national insurance. Members also paid reduced national insurance contributions. One of the results of this ‘contracting out’ is that staff who joined one of the Bank’s Pension Schemes between 30th June 1977 and 31st March 1997 will on receipt of their state pension have a reduction in their bank pension.
Generally speaking, similar arrangements to those operating in the UK apply to members of staff based in Offshore Banking (Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man). For UK members of one of the Lloyds Bank Pension Schemes, the State Pension Deduction or Clawback is made when the member receives their state pension. Under the Lloyds Bank Offshore Pension Scheme, the State Pension Deduction, which is calculated using the UK Basic State Pension, is made at age 60 for females and 65 for males. The State Pension Age in Jersey is currently 65 but is gradually rising to 67 over a 12-year period starting from 2012.
It’s currently the case that men and women who joined the Bank in Jersey (same applies to Guernsey and the Isle of Man) at the same time and retire at 60 will be treated differently by the Lloyds Bank Offshore Pension Scheme. The man will get his full pension with no state deduction until he reaches 65, whereas a woman’s pension will be reduced immediately. Women are having the State Pension Deduction taken from their pensions but they are not getting the State Pension. How stupid is that? In this day and age such inequality is unacceptable.
The Next Steps
The Union’s lawyers will be writing to the Lloyds Bank Offshore Pension Scheme Trustee Board insisting that all staff, regardless of gender, are treated exactly the same when it comes to the State Pension Deduction, including those female members of staff who have already retired and are paying the deduction now.
We will keep members informed of developments. In the meantime, members with any questions on this Newsletter can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (Choose Option1).