All scheme members become retirees
eventually, unless they die first, but there are some topics that are
only relevant at or before retirement - contributions, choice of scheme,
AVCs, salary sacrifice, lump sums from pension sacrifice...
31 March 2010. Here, just for the
record, is an extract from the home page of that time:
This message is an alert to the
current exodus. (We use the term "exodus" in the sense "a journey by
a large group to escape from a hostile environment", to cover the current
leavers.) You can reasonably expect that if anything good comes from
the Trustee effort it will apply to categories of scheme member - you will
not have to be joined individually in order to benefit. The same is
likely for the main IPIG effort, although your conscience should prick you
if you gain from that effort without having donated. The same is NOT
true for the Employment Tribunal. You should not expect corporate
ethics to extend to saying "Person A got compensation via the tribunal and
we treated B similarly so we will compensate B as well". To have a
prospect of compensation from this direction you need to take individual
action in the short term.
The AMIPP forum has
an outline of the "gamble" involved and the mechanism. For the
full story one needs to register with IPIG. Please help make sure
that everyone eligible to use the Employment Tribunal knows that they have
only a limited time in which to start the process.
29 January 2010. Here, just for the
record, is an extract from the home page of that time:
watch the debate about IBM on a PC. Or
read it from Hansard.
The House of Commons business for this week shows
short debate on IBM, on Wednesday . You might want to
alert your MP.
Some of you will have received, through AMIPP mechanisms, an email with a
link enabling you to respond to a survey about how people retired early
from IBM. In principle you should regard this as like any other
external link you reach - with suspicion. AMIPP is not responsible
for the content of its external links. However, in this particular
case we believe that IPIG is run by competent folk with no ulterior
motives and that if you volunteer your email address it will only be used
in ways you could reasonably expect - the same as with AMIPP. If you
did not receive such an email there is no reason to query why not - this
had some element of pilot exercise and it was not intended to reach
everyone known to AMIPP.
This a stressful time for employees who might become part of the big
age-related jobs reduction IBM UK will make early in 2010. The
nominal date for decisions is December 11th - the individual has to make a
decision that will deliver a signature to IBM by then. There have
been two new inputs in recent days, adding to the uncertainty provoked by
IBM's decision (against entreaty from many directions) to insist on
answers before the legal position is at all clarified. One input was
from the Trustee, and the other from IBM. The former contained
hurdles on discussing it with colleagues or advisers. The latter has
been seen as a small concession but is so obscurely written that even
those who have followed the topic in detail are unsure what it says.
(See the forum for more). Despite their hard work, Pension
Services has been overwhelmed - illustrations of prospective pensions
delayed, emails unanswered, etc.
It is obviously unsatisfactory that
employees should be making decisions in such circumstances. The IBM
Pensions Interest Group has paid for draft wordings by solicitors that
employees can tailor to express their reservations, to IBM.
Robert Tickell becomes a
trustee-director as a result of topping the poll in the recent election.
The next newsletter will not be soon, although some items for it are
accumulating. So it is worth pointing out that some postings on the
forum are of immediate relevance. In particular, those expecting to
retire in the present purge will find practical advice on how to turn
unused holiday into tax-advantaged cash, who they can invite to their
leaving celebration/wake, what their chances are for JobSeekers Allowance
and so on. Perhaps those who read this home page will tell those who
don't? Even though there is a search facility it isn't easy to find
things on the forum - here are a couple of links to more general items
(use the "next" button after following the link). There is an
Early Day Motion that you could urge your MP to sign up to. EDMs
do not directly achieve much, but are influential if enough MPs sign
since, for example, that helps those MPs who are pushing for a relevant
debate (as some Hursley-local MPs are). The activities of the
IBM Pensions Interest Group (IPIG) are also important. IPIG
newsletters ask that their content should not be copied. However, it
is reasonable to say that IPIG is showing itself as organised and
purposeful. The way the system works, if individuals
representative of employees get joined into the Court activity instigated
by the Trustee then those individuals will not run the risk of having
costs awarded against them. (IBM scheme members in the past have
been unable to benefit from the law because that risk far exceeded the
potential benefit to one or two people from successful action.)
who were elected as MNDs retired, leading to the unsatisfactory situation
where no MND had access to the IBM intranet and the MNDs were consequently
less well informed than the employees. In mid-September a vacancy
arose, and the Trustee has now arranged an election to fill it.
Reasonably, the candidates and voters are restricted to being actives and
the voting will be electronic.
are seven candidates. None claim membership of a trade
union. Robert Tickell will be the most familiar name because
of his association with the Pensions Consultation Committee. Actives
have until 3rd December to vote.
The trustee has plans to ask a judge about IBM bad faith.
You may feel (judging by the company reaction to the employee submissions
during consultation) that Armonk is unconcerned about employee relations
or the longer term company prospects. It is more difficult for
Armonk to ignore the trustee (which has the money to use the Courts) or
the Pension Regulator (who has powers to order companies to do things.)
October 29. (See also the first link in Newsletter 41).
Trustee-director resignation. Brian Marks has provided these notes on
his resignation. 26 September 2009
Saving Relief September
version) The TUC does a sturdy job of defending civil
service pensions but note that the headline version of this research
"Taxpayers are paying £2.50 for subsidising the pensions of the richest
one per cent of the population for every pound spent on paying pensions to
retired public servants such as nurses, teachers and civil servants"
is logically flawed. Tax relief is not the same as taxpayer
spending. Saving for a pension attracts tax relief. If there
was no tax relief there would be less saving. The arithmetic that
assumes unaltered saving but without tax relief represents a tax input to
the Treasury that could never be achieved. (However, an exaggeration in
presentation does not prove the main thesis wrong - that the relief is
A selection which may help when reading the forum.
7 August 2009
Forum Summaries for Consultation period:
8 November 2009
26 September 2009
Trustee-director resignation. Brian Marks has provided these notes
on his resignation.
14 August 2009.
to MPs are relevant.
25 July 2009 - The
PCC election page now also has a description of how the C-Plan
candidates are organised. The
Documents section has a list of relevant documents that have been
19 July 2009 -
1985 Handbook added to
15 July 2009 -
Advice from the UNITE union. (Also
13 July 2009 -
PCC election page introduced.
June 2006 - This page linked to from the Home page.
29 June 2006 - How a
Trade Union sees the IBM situation.
12 February 2006 -
Considerations for employee choices.
29 August 2005 -
22 February 2004 - The
mechanics of AVCs.
24 Aug 2003 - Unions
and Works Councils
28 Aug 2002 -
Underfunding, Closure and Termination
Employees will share some concerns with all the members, about how IBM
is managed, accounting, buybacks, and particularly layoffs. They are
particularly concerned with pensionable pay, and with the low value of
the M-plan or the possibilities of being forced out of C-plan. We
plan to add to this section, but meanwhile here is what the deeds say
about pensionable pay. You can't draw any comfort from reading this (since the
"Excluding" section has a couple of "any other"s
that effectively say IBM can make anything into nonpensionable pay), except where there are
Paraphrased, the deeds say that in 1983,
for the C-Plan, bonuses, commissions, overtime earnings and shift
allowance were moved from pensionable to nonpensionable. (That is the
change from (b) to (a) below.) Since that cannot effect M-plan
members the deeds wording for them is simpler.
If you are in the M-plan read the red bits
below. If you are in the C-plan read the blue bits. Either
way read the black and green bits.
NOTE THIS IS AN ACCOUNT OF THE WORDING BEFORE
(a) in relation to a C Plan Member for any period commencing on or
after 6th July 1983 and in relation to a B Plan Member, means the
means in relation to a Member of the Money
Purchase section means the greater of:-
(i) his gross basic remuneration from the Employer during the
an amount equal to any London Allowance which has been continuous
payable to him since before 7th August 1993 (unless he commenced his
present period of Pensionable Service on or after 7th August 1993) in
bonuses: commission; overtime earnings; benefits
in kind; any allowance payable to a Member in lieu of a motor car
normally supplied by an Employer; any element of
shift allowance; any payment made to the Member in
lieu of all or part of surrendered holiday entitlement; any payment made
to the Member under the Customer Satisfaction Plan; any payment made to
the Member under the Business Achievement Incentive and/or the Sales
Incentive Plan; any payment made to the Member under any announced
Variable Pay Scheme; any other fluctuating emoluments; and any other
additional monetary amounts (if any) payable by way of. or in respect
of. expenses incurred whether or not such additional monetary amounts
if the Member's earnings are subject to an incentive plan, his Reference
excluding an amount equal to the London Allowance (where
in relation to an N Plan Member or an E Plan Member for any period of
one year and in relation to a C Plan Member for any period of one year
ending before 6th July 1983. means his monetary remuneration from the
Employer chargeable to tax as an income of his office or employment for
an amount equal to the London Allowance payable to a Member (if any) and
(from the date of receipt only): bonuses:
commissions; overtime earnings; any element of shift allowance; and
(The things in green
"Reference Salary" means, in
relation to a B Plan, C Plan or M Plan Member (whose earnings are
subject to a Sales Incentive Plan) his annual target earnings (commonly
known as "100% salary") as determined from time to time by the Employer.
(There are also some relevant rules about
ill-health and an Inland Revenue maximum.)
Where the deed quotes above use
capitalised terms it means the term is defined elsewhere. However,
that doesn't help much. "Business Achievement Incentive", for
example, is defined only as "a plan operated by the Principal Employer".