Bridgend housing workers to lose thousands in pensions shake-up

Carmen Bezzina

Housing workers in Bridgend are set to lose thousands of pounds from their pensions under plans by their employer, says their union UNISON today (Thursday). 


Staff at the Valleys to Coast Housing Association have been told the organisation is looking to leave the local government pensions scheme (LGPS), which would have given employees a guaranteed income in their retirement. 


Managers want to move the workers to the social housing pension defined contribution scheme (SHPS), which is based on worker and employer contributions, as well as any investments, but doesn’t promise such a good return for scheme members.


This would mean an employee who had given 15 years to the business and was due to receive an annual pension of £19,200 under the LGPS would now only get £13,300 a year. 


A Valleys to Coast worker said: “It’s completely gutting because I’d predicted how much I’d be getting at 67, thinking I’d be retiring on a decent pension.

“I’m questioning if I’ll be able to retire at 67 now or if I’ll have to continue working.

“My retirement looks a lot different. It’s massive kick in the teeth for your loyalty after years of service.”

UNISON Cymru/Wales regional organiser Carmen Bezzina (pictured above) said: “Many of these workers have given decades of their life to this business. It is appalling they are now facing a future where they could be thousands of pounds out of pocket. 


“UNISON will do everything possible to reverse this decision and ensure staff who provide such a vital service can look forward to a decent income when they retire.”