As Statoil top executives’ pensions are to remain at present levels, an Industri Energi shop steward at Statoil says he is gob-smacked following news the company is to cut workers’ pensions by up to 150,000 kroner each.
Present arrangements, described as an opportunity for tired and worn out employees, allow 62-year-olds to retire with a full pension and keep 66 percent of their salary in addition.
Unions were warned of Statoil’s plans to review its pension arrangements just after Christmas last year but the scheme is now to be slashed this coming Monday, without any possibility for discussion.
"A slap in the face"
Industri Energy union leader Per Steinar Stamnes tells Aftenbladet, “We notified Statoil that the entire pension scheme had to be addressed before a decision could be reached. Nevertheless, suddenly they don’t have time to do this anymore.”
Mr Stamnes asked for a meeting to find out the economic consequences for his members. He was told 62-year-old onshore staff with an annual salary of NOK 900,000 kroner (approximately USD 155,400/GBP 97,600) would lose NOK 150,000 (about USD 25,900/GBP 16,277) per year from their pension.
“We haven’t seen the company’s figures for offshore Norwegian Continental Shelf personnel, but our own calculations show much the same result, if not even worse. It’s a slap in the face.”
Engaged in a legal review
The union alleges Statoil has confirmed CEO Helge Lund’s and other top executives’ pensions are exempt from cuts because they have individual schemes. Dagens Næringsliv has reported Mr Lund can look forward to a retirement pension of up to 4.5 million kroner (USD 775.000/GBP 488.600) a year at 62.
Jannik Lindbæk jr., the company’s head of media relations, says to Aftenbladet the matter is about following the government’s aim of people working longer, and that “of course” Statoil is interested in the same.
Industri Energi now warns of trouble if Statoil executives continue with their plans, however.
“We’re currently engaged in a legal review of this, and are trying everything we can to stop the pensions changes,” he declares.