More than 4,000 Co-operative Bank employees will have to pay contributions
into the group’s pension scheme for the first time in the company’s history.
The bank is battling to cut a deficit of £140m and has told staff they must
start making contributions of 2 per cent of salary from next January, rising to
6 per cent within three years.
The company, which prides itself on its ‘people’ policies and fairness as an
employer, said it was "not immune to pressures from the wider world"
and had to address its overall financial position.
Ken Lewis, Co-operative financial services resources director, said HR
worked very closely with the banking union Unifi and its in-house
communications department on the best way to inform staff of the changes.
"We had face-to-face briefings with two tiers of management who then
fully cascaded the information through to staff," he said.
"There was no point in dressing up the news as anything other than what
it was. We wanted to present people with the bare facts and make it clear the
company was still committed to providing a generous scheme."
Lewis added that the bank was still gathering feedback from staff and wanted
to gauge reaction on not only the news itself, but also how it was delivered.