Energy workers protest at Ofgem pension threat

Energy workers protest at Ofgem pension threat

Prospect, the union for 21,000 energy professionals, has expressed dismay at the electricity regulator’s announcement that it is ‘minded’ to make changes to its current treatment of pension costs.

The latest missive from Ofgem comes despite warnings from Prospect that any attempt to interfere with staff pensions would backfire, and would cause industrial unrest if pursued.

Prospect Deputy General Secretary Mike Clancy said: “We are dismayed that Ofgem has refused to take notice of our concerns and will be raising this at a higher level with the government.

“It is very bad news. Not only is Ofgem trying to fix a problem that does not exist, its position runs against all the evidence and analysis conducted by their own consultants, which shows that the networks businesses are currently managing their pension schemes perfectly well.

“The document again fails to understand the challenges facing the electricity companies in recruiting and retaining a highly skilled workforce who value their pension provision.

“For customers, it is a trivial issue to be focusing on. Ironically it will result in a set of proposals that increase bureaucracy and end up costing consumers money. But for our members, it is not trivial at all. The Ofgem proposal will place pressure on the companies to attack pensions wherever they can. This will mess with their livelihoods and their chance of a decent retirement, and that is not something they will take lying down.”