A number of Capita staff are today starting to vote in a strike ballot over a proposal to close the firm’s current defined benefit pension scheme.
Members of union Unite are employed by Capita Life & Pensions Regulated Services and Capita IT Services.
Unite says Capita contracts that will be affected by the industrial action include Prudential, Royal London CIS, Phoenix and Royal London in Birmingham and Friends Life.
Capita told staff in July about changes to pension arrangements that Unite says will result in a “massive cut” in retirement income.
The Capita sites where Unite members are impacted are Birmingham, Reading, Bristol, Belfast, Manchester and Stirling.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook says: “The disgraceful plans by Capita to slash the deferred pay that staff will get in retirement is utterly unacceptable. Capita’s pension proposals will have far reaching consequences for the retirement of many Unite members. Some staff will lose a shocking 70 per cent of their retirement income.”
He adds: “Capita must urgently rethink these pensions proposals in order to prevent industrial action.”
A Capita spokeswoman says: “We are in the minority of companies still offering a defined benefit pension plan to a small percentage of our overall employees. Following a thorough review of our pensions estate, we have recognised that this arrangement is not sustainable in the long term. Capita has therefore been consulting with these employees, circa 3 per cent of the total workforce.”
The spokeswoman adds: “No final decisions have been made. The proposed new defined contribution pension plan will not impact their accrued benefits in the existing defined benefit pension scheme and the impact on overall retirement income will vary by individual and is largely dependent on their age and length of time to retirement. The proposed defined contribution benefits are comparable to employees’ peers outside of Capita.”