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Thousands of retired firefighters will be compensated after a successful legal challenge found that they did not receive the lump sum in their pension that they were entitled too.
A complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman that the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) failed to review the commutation factors within the 1992 Firefighters Pension Scheme from 1998 – 2006, was upheld.
Commutation is a procedure where a member of a pension scheme gives up a part of their pension in exchange for an immediate lump sum payment.
The Fire Brigades Union provided support and legal assistance to more than 5000 of its retired members who were affected.
Due to the number of grievances involved the pension ombudsman decided upon a test case basis. A retired firefighter and FBU member was the primary test case.
The test case found that GAD had failed to identify its responsibility to calculate appropriate commutation factors – the amount that needs to be given up in order to provide a lump sum – and that they should compensate the member for the loss of money and any tax liability.
This decision should now be applied to all affected firefighters in the 1992 scheme.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This is a significant victory for retired firefighters.
“As the outcome has just been announced the FBU will be looking at the details and discussing the decision with its legal advisors.”
The news comes on the final day of the FBU’s conference in Blackpool where the union recommitted its fight for a fair pension scheme for all firefighters after the unworkable 2015 scheme was imposed on 1 April.
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All members this is an historic achievement by the UFUA summed up perfectly by the “Workplace Express.”
The significance of this decision cannot be overstated.
Please click on the red link to read
2014.12.11 UFUA National Bulletin #9 is now available to download.
The message is “Stronger Together” with Trans-Tasman unity further strengthened by a combined UFUA and NZPFU National Committee of Management meeting.
Click to download National Bulletin
(PDF download—you can also right click to save-as to your computer).
All members, please note that the 2014 UFUA Financial Statements for the year ending June 2014 are now available for your reference.
You can download the statement as a PDF (1.3MB download) by clicking the link to open in your browser or right clicking (Cmd-Click on Mac OSX) to save to your computer directly.
Click here for UFU 2014 Financial Statements.
Not a union member?
Read on to see what President Theodore Roosevelt thought about being a union member.
United States President Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
If I were a factory employee, a labourer on the railroad, or a wage earner of any sort, I would undoubtedly join the union of my trade.
If I were opposed to the policy of the union, I would join for no other reason than to help rectify that mistake.
If I took exception to a dishonest leader, I would join the union to help remove him. In short, I believe in the union, and I believe that all men who benefit by the union, are morally bound to help to the extent of their power in the common interest advanced by the union.
Unions, whilst they consist of members, do not belong to the members, but rather, they hold in trust, something for those in the future.
Click here to download this for your station.