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Welsh housing workers set to lose thousands from their pensions, union warns

HOUSING workers in Bridgend are set to lose thousands of pounds from their pensions under plans announced by their employer, Unison Cymru/Wales has warned.

Valleys to Coast Housing Association has told staff that it is looking to leave the local government pensions scheme (LGPS) and join the social housing pension defined contribution scheme (SHPS).

According to Unison, this would mean that an employee who had notched up 15 years’ service and was due to receive an annual pension of £19,200 under the LGPS would now only get £13,300 a year. 

One worker said: “I’m questioning if I’ll be able to retire at 67 now or if I’ll have to continue working.

“It’s massive kick in the teeth for your loyalty after years of service.”

Unison regional organiser Carmen Bezzina said: “Many of these workers have given decades of their life to this business.

“It is appalling they are now facing a future where they could be thousands of pounds out of pocket.”

A spokesman for Valleys to Coast said: “We have begun a period of consultation with a small group of colleagues affected by a review of our pension arrangements. These colleagues are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) under legacy arrangements from their transfer from Bridgend County Borough Council in 2003, or because they joined us shortly after transfer.

“The majority of our colleagues are members of the defined contribution Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS DC). From a business perspective we have to ensure long-term financial stability and equitable benefits for all colleagues. As such, we are currently in consultation with colleagues who are members of the LGPS with a view to ending this arrangement and transferring them to the SHPS DC pension scheme, with their current accrued benefits protected. Those colleagues are being offered our full support throughout the consultation period, including guidance from independent pension specialists.”


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