I must admit I have a deal of sympathy with teachers, civil servants etc. who have been on strike today. I know what it is like to be let down on pensions. When I retired I expected to receive two retained pensions from my secular employment as well as my church pension. I discovered that one of the two was virtually worthless due to a certain Chancellor’s raid on pension funds and the other virtually worthless due to the particular company it was with. As a result using the open market option one gave me gave me a pension of around £400 a year instead of previous forecast of substantially more; the other gave me a small cash sum of just over £200 in final settlement instead of the annual pension which I had expected. These two pensions were for a working life from the time I left school, with a break of a year due to illness, until I attended theological college.
So I feel for those who have been told that they will have to work longer, pay more in contributions and get less when they do eventually retire. It seems like a very raw deal. After all these people have been employed on a contractual basis which was agreed when they commenced their employment. I can understand pension provision being changed for new employees. I could even understand negotiating a change but to impose such changes, as seems to be happening with the minimal amount of negotiation, seems to me to be totally wrong.