back to article Former DEC employees to rally against stagnant pensions post-HP

Retired Digital Equipment Corporation employees are scheduling a protest day outside of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s UK headquarters over its refusal to increase their pensions – something the corporation is not legally obliged to do. DEC – once an employer of 8,500 people in Britain – was bought by Compaq in 1998, which was …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP simply do not care

    Pensioners are a burden on them so the sooner we all kick the bucket the better.

    My guess is that HP are seeing the 'triple lock' that the state pension has and the proposed increases and say...

    "That will be more than enough for you plebs."

    At the current rate, it won't be long before, the State Pension will be more than the DEC one... the one that I paid extra into for years in the form of AVC's.

    The last increase was more than swallowed up in the extra tax I had to pay because of the state pension rise.

    Posting AC but spent 20 years at DEC before being given the heave-ho in 1998.

    1. abend0c4

      Re: HP simply do not care

      I moved my DEC pension when I left to ... Equitable Life. Not sure that private pensions are really fit for purpose.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: HP simply do not care

        Not sure that private pensions are really fit for purpose

        In the early 90's, I spent 5 (ish) years as a programmer then switching to support. I was paid a really good wage and we had a good pension scheme (we paid in 5% and the employer paid in 10%). When I left, it was worth (in adjusted terms) about £15k p/a.

        The company (more or less) left the UK and left the pension in the hands of a private pension company. That company grossly mis-managed the pension (and passed it around their group of companies, each move attracting 'fees') to such an extent that now, having been finally moved to a company that is actually good at pensions, the pension is worth about £1k p/a. When it was passed to them, it was worth about £500 p/a.. By the time I retire (9 more years!) it might get to the giddy heights of £2k p/a. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have that £2k (it'll keep me in rum if nothing else :-) ) but compared to what it might have been, it's a pittance.

        The company? Since they were no longer were incorporated in the UK (the tentacle that they left behind was an entirely separate company) they basically shrugged and said "not our problem".

  2. Spazturtle Silver badge

    From what I can see it doesn't look like the DEC pension was an invested fund that people paid into, so why would anyone expect the value to go up. If it isn't invested then how is it expected to grow in value?

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      OK, I think you answered my question, I couldn't understand why the pension hadn't increased in value, but if like you say, it's not an investment fund, it's just a pot of cash, I get it. My IBM pension has increased in value since I left 8 years ago, so I was missing something, cheers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: I was missing something

        "I couldn't understand why the pension hadn't increased in value,"

        The employee pension didn't increase because the scheme documents didn't force it to, and the employees individually or collectively weren't smart enough to understand the implications?

        Also, during the 15 or so years I contributed to the DEC UK defined benefit pension scheme, which may or may not have been the same scheme as applied to the many manufacturing etc folks in Scotland (AYO? SQF? etc), the numbers buried in the small print in the annual pension fund report frequently showed that the investment managers frequently underperformed not just their targets but also the markets as a whole.

        "My IBM pension has increased in value since I left 8 years ago, so I was missing something,"

        Clearly.

    2. HaroldHare

      Drivel

      What drivel you spout! Of course there is an investment fund and of course the employees paid pension contributions. The problem is that the pemsion fund's rules didn't include cost-of-living increases, so these are at the company's discretion for pre-1997 pensions.

      1. Spazturtle Silver badge

        Re: Drivel

        "The problem is that the pemsion fund's rules didn't include cost-of-living increases"

        If it was a fund then the pension would increase in line with the performance of the fund's investments.

        I can't find anything that shows that it is an invested fund, from what I can see it looks more like a defined benefit pension like the NHS pension where you give up part of your salary in return for the promise that they will find money from somewhere to pay you when you retire.

        "cost-of-living increase"

        Where is the money for this meant to come from?

        1. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Drivel

          I'm also confused. Was there no way to transfer out? I've had a few pension funds and I've transferred them around and consolidated a few times when I've found them to be stagnant/ underperforming over a few years.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Drivel

        I have a pension investment fund in dollars as a result of working in the USA, back in the early 90's it was about $150k but then they said there had been an investment issue and my fund had going down to $40k ... investment funds make a lot of money for the people running the organization, not the customers.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "scheduling a protest day"

    Well, you're retired, so you have the time for it.

    HP, on the other hand, couldn't care less. You no longer contribute to HP's reputation. The fact that your work built HP up to some heights no longer counts, HP has squandered that capital long ago.

    I sympathize, but HP doesn't and DEC and Mr Hewlett are long gone.

    You are now reaping the benefits of unrestrained capitalism.

    Maybe vote for some social security in the years to come ?

    P.S. : saying that from a country that is actively destroying its own social security and medical network, to transition everything to private offices, so maybe we'll have a beer together in the not-too-distant future.

  4. fromxyzzy

    Anyone who has paid attention to what HP have done to their own business over the last 20 years, much less the inherited legacy of DEC by way of Compaq, knows full well that this will fall on deaf ears.

    I'd be surprised if they even noticed.

  5. HausWolf

    Can't someone think of the shareholders?

    What would happen to the value of those golden parachutes if they had to do right by the people who got them there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      shareholders don't get golden parachutes, do they?

  6. Jc (the real one)
    Linux

    Just picture the annual board meeting

    FCO - final item on the agenda - shall we grant a discretionary increase to the ex-DEC pensioners?

    CEO - Do we have to?

    FCO - legally, no, but it won't cost us much if we did

    CEO - why are you wasting my time with this. Of course not, DEC used to be our biggest competitor

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Just picture the annual board meeting

      CEO - Transfer that amount into the executive performance bonus pool. Money saved.

  7. Jc (the real one)

    We Are HPE - Our culture defines us

    We Are HPE - Our culture defines us

    Our culture is what defines Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a company: how we act, how we treat others, and how we conduct business. Our employees ignite our culture by continuously demonstrating bias for action, being innovators at heart, and always putting partnerships first.

    That's what HPE says about itself on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/hewlett-packard-enterprise/life/cbd04b62-ee73-461d-b09d-1885aa9e5ab9/

    Clearly, when no longer an employee or partner......We can see how they treat "Others"

    Jc

  8. pimppetgaeghsr

    Poor boomers getting the millenial end of the stick. What happened to pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since DEC disappeared more than 20 years ago, the executives thought they would be all dead by now...

  9. Jc (the real one)

    HPE just posted good financial results on LinkedIn but every time I politely comment with a link to this story, they remove my comments.. Clearly someone has ruffled feathers in their PR team

  10. Jc (the real one)

    Well, it made the ITV news!

    https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2023-09-20/pensioners-starting-to-feel-impoverished-as-payments-not-risen-with-inflation

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