HP Pension Association
Volume 2, Newsletter 2 March 2014
It is  some time since our last newsletter, although we have been communicating proceedings and events by email.
HP European Pensions 





Back before Christmas, we asked for your help in identifying people in other European countries who could help us find out how HP pensioners are faring where they live.

We also asked for members who are not ex-Digital, and who believe that they have a pension problem, to write in so that we could help them get in contact with others who are in a similar situation. 
Well, we met some really outstanding people all over Europe, who were very pleased to help their old colleagues in the UK. 
As we expected, a lot of countries have pensions which are more or less controlled by the government, and the consensus is that this is a pretty good situation to be in. 
Several countries, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland have pension schemes which are approximately the same as the UK. 
The Dutch model has been in the news lately, as something that the UK government is looking at. It is very much a swings-and-roundabouts scheme in that when the fund is overfunded (because the stock markets are doing well) to, say, 125%, then pensioners get full inflation increases. When the fund drops below around 105%, then pensioners can expect their pensions to actually reduce. The Dutch pensioners have not received increases for some time, and HP is casting an eye on the existing scheme, and people there are nervous about some changes mooted for them this year. 
The German situation is a very mixed bag. A lot of German employees left Digital and joined other companies, taking their pension rights with them. Those companies have not necessarily been careful and there is some anguish showing. The people who stayed in the Digital scheme are receiving increases, every 3 years or so, but inflation is very low, so the rises are not large. 
The Swiss scheme has not paid increases recently, and the “trustees” are working hard to get the fund back into the black. Once again, inflation is very low there. 
Ireland is a stand-alone situation, where full inflation increases are being given. 
What does come over strongly, though, is that all countries have a clear and transparent Pension Review process – except the UK. 

For the conspiracy theorists among you, just google HP Golden Circle and you will see an article which gives an indication of the power Palo Alto now has over the pension schemes across the world. We were told that at least one person in the UK is part of the Golden Circle.
Pensions Ombudsman 




Back in the UK, things are moving on - Ian Young has a case with the Ombudsman, and he had this to say: 
“I do have a case with the Pensions Ombudsman, and it has been accepted for jurisdiction purposes. Investigation of the complaint is underway, and I will let you know when it has been concluded. I have asked the PO to investigate HP’s interpretation of Discretion as it applies to my pension, and to assess the Pensions Review process in the UK. I am not allowed to share any information which is revealed as a result of the investigation.” 
Clearly we cannot enter into any discussion on this matter, but if anyone would like any guidance on approaching the Ombudsman, we would be please to help. Anyone considering this course of action has to be prepared to “hang in there” because The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), and the Ombudsman (PO) are very busy.

AVC Increases Court Case 




Also in the UK, some of you may remember a case which started back in 2010 – David Good vs Hewlett-Packard. It concerned the payment of increases to in-plan AVC rights after 1997. The case was settled late in 2013 and all pension scheme members with those rights should have been contacted by the Trustees. The settlement was (in short) that those pension rights should attract increases of 70% of RPI between 1997 and 2006. HP wanted to pay nothing. 
HPPA put David Good’s legal team in touch with a considerable number of people who could be potential witnesses, and he has expressed his appreciation.

And Finally
So, many thanks again for all the help you have given and, when there is news, we will tell you. 


If you want to change your email address, please look at the bottom of any mail from us, and you will see a link to "unsubscribe and manage" - change your address using that link, rather than email one of us! 

Once again, all feedback to steve.spillane@hppa.org.uk    or   ian.young@hppa.org.uk

Best Regards, 

HP Pension Association

  • HP European Pensions
  • Pensions Ombudsman
  • AVC Increases Court Case  
  • HP Deskjet 2540
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 including free delivery. Go to here for access to the HP Employee store - in case you have forgotten the username is hpway and the password toplay 


Ian, Scott and Steve continue to work for the benefit of retirees and members of the HP pension schemes and if you would like to help or have any ideas on what we should be doing please contact Scott here.


The username for www.hppa.org.ukis   hpway  and the password is toplay   These can also be used on the US website.

HP Pension Association 


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