|The Association of Members of IBM UK Pensions Plans (AMIPP)|
|This page amended Sept 2009|
This section has information on how the Trust has behaved and what it has said. The links below to Actuarial Reports and Members' Reports carry the most detail. The sections on legal issues, elections and other trusts are also relevant to the topic. So is Trustee-director resignation. .
Our Trust acquired a poor reputation from its activity when the government first introduced scheme member representatives on to Trust Boards. In the last meeting before this happened, the Board decided to use funds that were built up by member contributions to the C-Plan for a purpose that could not benefit anybody in the C-Plan (and could not benefit anybody in the M-Plan either). That move, and the unclear way in which information about it trickled out, is seen as not acting in the interests of the members.
The Trust has improved since those days, at least until 2006. The Members' Reports are more readable and more in accord with best practice by other trusts. The creation of a website represented a big gain in communications by giving members a ready alternative to one-to-one exchanges with Pension Services. The Board came to understand how other trusts&companies maintained the value of pensions in the face of inflation. It made proposals (rejected by the Company) that our scheme should do likewise, implicitly acknowledging that to cut the real value of payments for work that has already been done is a dubious/unethical form of cost cutting.
While the 2005 contributions hike for C-Planners from 4% to 6% degraded the scheme, the 6% level was not far from the national average for such schemes, and was accompanied by the Guarantee. The guarantee can now be seen as far-sighted, since other trusts are being troubled by parent companies willing to use bankcruptcy as a financial instrument to shed pension liabilities. (And the Regulator's powers to prevent that are questionable.)
The improving trend took a blow in 2006, and it is not surprising that this has resulted in member dissatisfaction.
The major degradations in the scheme decided in 2006 represent a downturn in the Boards protection of members, especially coming so soon after the 2005 changes were represented as stabilising the future of the schemes. The Board's claim that the law gave them no choice is not the result of any regulation and has not been tested in the courts.
There are signs that the Board regards the Regulator's Codes of Practice as an irrelevance and there are no signs that the thinking which led to proposals for RPI matching increases has been maintained.
There is a page that discusses the concerns all trusts have, with some comment on IBM's setup.