Saturday, August 30, 2008

In 1969 when I joined the GPO telephones it was part of the civil service and a government department. The GPO was then nationalised and became Post Office Telephones. It was then privatised to become British Telecom and then finally BT.

As an BT employee with 39 years service I would have soon been eligible to ask to retire when I had 40 years service and draw my pension without penalty. Except that at the end of 2007 BT was pressured into doing away with the 40 year rule. The company stated that to comply with new age discrimination laws anyone who retires before the age of 60 must take an actuarial reduction in their final salary scheme pension and any lump sum. This reduction is 5% for every year the pension is taken early.

When I joined the GPO I was aware of the pension rules. I was two years away from retiring when they suddenly changed the rules. This meant that I would have to work an extra three years to get the same benefits.

Several of the people affected and myself have written to the minister of pensions, and several government departments. We approached the union CWU, but to no avail. Only a relatively small number of people are affected so the rest are not bothered.

I have managed to retire early, but with a massive 20% reduction in my pension if I draw it immediately.

From my point of view this so called age discrimination act does exactly what it says on the tin. It discriminated against me, trying to force me to work longer than I had planned.

However I thing the time has come to make a stand and to try and make a massive fuss and make the public aware that this ‘age discrimination’ law is to force people to work longer. I know that trying to fight the government is probably an impossible task. I wonder if anyone else has take on the government and won?

This interfering 'nanny state' government drives me up the wall !!

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