The decision to close the defined benefit scheme is one that has been met with hostility
Aston Martin had hoped to close the defined benefit scheme on 31 January and moving employees on the scheme to the existing defined contribution scheme which covers the majority of the workforce and also new employees.
The car company’s proposed move is reportedly set to cost members £100,000 over the course of their retirement, depending on individual circumstances.
The union say its members at Aston Martin sites in Gaydon, Wellesbourne, Milton Keynes, Newport Pagnell, and St Athan have voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a full-scale industrial action ballot in 2022 to protect their retirement incomes.
The defined contribution scheme has also been criticised by Unite for being too easily influenced by sudden market fluctuations, which would leave produce worse retirement incomes.
The consultation period, which is due to end this Friday, has been requested to be extended by Unite, but has so far been declined by the management.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “These workers have done as asked and saved for their retirement, but they have also worked hard to deliver improved profits for Aston Martin.”
“There is, therefore, no case to be made for closing the defined benefit pension schemes, a move that robs our members of tens of thousands of pounds – in the case of Aston Martin workers, that is about £100,000.”
A spokesperson for Aston Martin said “As a responsible employer, Aston Martin has a duty to deliver financially sustainable pension arrangements for its circa 2,000 employees, whilst managing its pension risks and underlying costs. Having completed a detailed review of its future pension arrangements, and in line with many other UK employers, it is proposing changes to its defined benefit scheme affecting circa 400 employees.”
“Should these changes occur, Aston Martin has outlined an attractive transition arrangement – including a one-off cash payment and equity in the company. This is in addition to supporting the defined benefit pension scheme to meet the cost of pension benefits already earned.”
“Aston Martin remains in direct communication with the affected employees, and their representatives, regarding these changes and is unable to comment further at this time.”
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