As part of our pension's campaign, the FBU is asking all members and officials to lobby their MPs on the specific issue of increased contributions.
In our view, increasing contributions by 3.2% is not only unfair for firefighters ' costing our members at least £70 a month or £800 a year ' it makes no sense for financing the scheme. If just 7% of firefighters opt out of their pension scheme, then the government will lose more money than it will get in.
I would like all members to take this argument to their MP. Please use the arguments in the briefing attached ' this can be given to MPs as it goes through the arguments in detail.
A link will also shortly be placed on the FBU website www.fbu.org.uk to further assist members with lobbying their MP.
We want MPs who are convinced on this issue to sign our Early Day Motion. It can be done at anytime, including when Parliament is not sitting. The text is below:
That this House acknowledges that firefighters currently pay 11% of their salary into an unfunded pension scheme; is concerned by the government's proposal for a 3.2% increase in firefighters' pension contributions at a time when they are in the 2nd year of a pay freeze and the cost of living is rising; notes the findings of a recent YouGov survey of around 8000 firefighters, which found that over a quarter of respondents would be likely or very likely to opt out of the pension scheme if the government's proposal is implemented, with nearly one in eight very likely to opt out; further notes that the Treasury's forecast of £72.6m savings over three years from this reform is based upon an opt out rate of 1% and that every 1% opt out would cost the scheme £3.5 million per annum in lost contributions; shares the Fire Brigades Union's concern that an opt out rate of 7% or over would nullify the government's projected savings and that the 27% opt out rate indicated in the survey could result in a net loss of £210 million; believes that the proposed increase is self-defeating and would destabilise the firefighters' pension scheme; and calls upon the Government to withdraw its proposal for firefighters to pay additional pension contributions.
The more MPs we can get to sign this, the more pressure we can exert on the government to back off increasing our pension contributions.
Please inform my office of any contacts members have with MPs and especially with any successes with getting MPs to sign.
Yours in Unity,