Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director, Jeremy Awori makes his address as they officiated the launch of Barclays bank’s centennial celebrations at Barclay Bank’s headquaters,Waiyaki way,Nairobi on 12th February ,2016. Photo/Elvis Ogina (Nairobi)
Barclays Bank is sending home a fresh lot of 130 workers amid complaints that the high cost of living is eroding its pensioners’ monthly stipend.
The Barclays pension comprises a value approximate to two-thirds of a member’s pensionable salary. The value in the ratio of a member’s final salary is set to sustain a standard way of life for those leaving employment, often as a result of affliction by work-related ailments like hypertension and diabetes due to the institution’s working environment.
The former employees claim before Barclays PLC, the London parent company, decided to divest, the stipend would be readjusted upwards each year in line with inflation.
However, in 2016, after the British lender announced that it would cut back its stake from 62 per cent to less than 20 per cent, the adjustment was not made.
“The year 2016 was the first time since inception of the Barclays pension scheme that members did not have their pensions increased to cushion against erosion by inflation as provided for by regulations,” read a letter signed by 31 pensioners.
“This was in spite of the actuary having provided for annual pension increases and determined a rate of increase of the pensions to apply until the next valuation in compliance with the RBA (Retirement Benefits Authority) Act,” they added.
But Barclays Bank has refuted the claim, saying increasing the stipend is not written in law.
The lender said despite the yearly expectations, the scheme could only pay out when the funds it had invested in were profitable.
“The increase is not written in statute, it is not a right, but a preferred outcome that depends on performances,” said Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori. “We get advisory from actuaries and the fund managers who tell us how much we have to put in the fund to get a return and decisions from the trustees of the fund,” he added.
He said the lender had explained the issue to individual pensioners and denounced the group of ‘31’ who he said “purported” to represent its former workers.
“At the end of the day, we have a relationship with each pensioner but we get these various bodies who purport to represent them,” said Mr Awori.