GLASGOW MP CALLS FOR PENSION FAIRNESS ON WAR GRAVES

Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens today called on war graves chiefs to revisit their decision to cut the pension of hundreds of workers tending to war graves, and ensure fairness for hundreds of workers who face losing thousands of pounds in lost pension entitlements.

Following his adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Monday Chris is calling on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to look again at the issue and stop the transfer of long-serving employees out of the Commission’s final salary pension fund.

The CWGC maintains the graves and memorials of over 1.7million fallen soldiers at more than 23,000 locations in over 150 countries and employs over 1,250 people.  In December 2014 the CWGC decided to close the final salary pension scheme in April 2016, costing 180 staff thousands of pounds a year.  Meanwhile the number of staff paid more than £60,000 per year has risen from 15 to 20.

Commenting after the debate, Chris said:

“We are halfway through the commemorations of the 100 years since WW1 and the lessons of conflict are as important now as then.  CWGC workers ensure the final resting places of the war dead honour their memory with dignity and honour.

“The closure of the final salary pension scheme will have a devastating impact on staff who will lose, on average, £6,000 per year.  The majority of employees affected are due to retire within the next 10 years and will have no time to adjust their financial planning.

“I’m calling on the Commission to look again at their proposals, sit down with the trade unions, and to make sure those who honour our war dead are treated with fairness and respect in their retirement.”