A permanent dark cloud
Like many, Virginia looked to get a job after finishing school. University did not really appeal. So she felt fortunate when Midland Bank offered her a job in 1990. After all, it had a glamourous image, smart uniforms, and promoted the image of women being able to gain promotions and have a great career. How different everything turned out to be in reality.
The ever increasing demands to do this, and this, and this, and all to be fitted into your working day alongside your regular job. Unpaid overtime quickly became the norm rather than the exception, and the idea of getting a full hour for lunch was just a laugh if you wanted to stay on top of your work. And all the time being told to smile and look smart as we were ambassadors of the bank.
The idea of climbing any promotions ladder soon faded, and she spent the next 24 years working mainly as a cashier, before leaving in 2014. Thinking back, she cannot remember pensions being discussed, other than being told she was in a non-contributory scheme.
After all that time and service, her pension forecast is only just over £6,000 a year but from which she will lose nearly 20% to clawback.
Virginia feels very strongly that just as pensions were pro rated as a percentage of final salary, so should the pension deduction be. She knows that she will have to work longer and harder to try and ensure she has a decent standard of living when she finally comes to retire.
The thought of the bank taking £1200 a year leaves a permanent dark cloud in her thoughts.