Running from April 24-May 11, the ballot is being conducted online for most people where Prospect has their email address. Members contactable by email, or known to have restricted internet access at work, were sent a ballot form in the post.
Those who cannot vote online, but did not receive a posted paper, should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospect deputy general secretary Dai Hudd urged all eligible members to vote. "The result will have a significant impact on your future pension," he said. "It is important that everyone has their say."
The ballot applies to members of the civil service and by-analogy pension schemes, and the NHS and teachers' schemes. About 5,000 members of the local government and UK Atomic Energy Authority schemes will undergo separate ballots, once proposals for their schemes are finalised.
The final offer is the culmination of almost two years of lobbying, submission of evidence, negotiation and industrial action by members of Prospect and other public sector unions.
Prospect's civil service sector executive is recommending a 'yes' vote, after the most controversial set of negotiations held by the union with any government for a generation. Prospect believes the government's offer is the best that can be achieved by negotiation. But it's up to members to decide.
The ballot is on the terms of the new scheme that will operate from 2015, which is closely modelled on the Nuvos scheme already in existence. It does not cover the higher pension contributions which Prospect will continue to oppose as part of an ongoing campaign against the government's pay curbs.
Hudd said if it was rejected the only option would be for Prospect to resume industrial action. There was also a danger of something worse being imposed and the loss of improvements like protection for those within ten years of retirement, or for people transferred into the private sector.
- a special edition of PublicEye newsletter
- a booklet outlining details of the offer
- a Q&A brief
- a set of worked examples.
A personal calculator will be available soon. Questions can be emailed to email@example.com