Now that the main public sector unions have capitulated on pensions — for the time being, anyway — the capitalist bosses are picking off smaller, weaker groups of workers at their leisure. The BBC has announced that its current final salary pension scheme will be replaced by a worse scheme for new entrants from September.
The changes will mean:
• The introduction of a "career average" scheme which will leave new workers an average of 30% worse off than their colleagues.
• An increase in the normal retirement age to 65 in 2016.
• An increase in contributions for existing staff from 5.5% to 7.5% by 1 April 2007 with a likely further increase to 9% from 1 April 2008 (despite the promises contained in a letter to all workers in 2003 promising "contribution rates will never be more than a maximum of 7.5% of pensionable salary).
Yet the latest formal assessment of the pensions scheme showed a surplus of £13 million.
The NUJ has promised to fight this attack, but without support from big union battalions its is in a weak position.