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Bank axes pension scheme after one hour

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20/04/2007

The Communication Workers Union is up in arms, after Australian Bank Macquarie closed down the company pension scheme held by hundreds of employees of the O2 Airwave emergency services radio business within 60 minutes of purchasing the firm.
The Communication Workers Union is up in arms, after Australian Bank Macquarie closed down the company pension scheme held by hundreds of employees of the O2 Airwave emergency services radio business within 60 minutes of purchasing the firm.

 

The CWU is threatening strike action at the O2 Airwave HQ in Slough, which employs 760 staff. More than a third of the staff are members of the occupational pension scheme, which had previously promised to pay out between a half and two-thirds of final salary on retirement.

 

Those staff will now be transferred onto a new ‘money-purchase’ type scheme within six months, which can be more risky as pension pay outs are not dictated by salary but determined by the stock market.

 

Jeannie Drake, deputy general secretary of the CWU, said: “The outrageous manner in which this has been handled will outrage workers.”

 

It is believed that O2 had no prior knowledge of Maquarie’s plans to close the final salary occupational pension scheme.

 

An O2 Spokesperson said that company pension contributions would not be lower than those paid out under the old scheme.

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