Pensioners angry over loss of discount

CO-OP pensioners are to lose their benefits as a result of what bosses call “increased pressure to ensure prudence” in the current economic climate.

CO-OP pensioners are to lose their benefits as a result of what bosses call “increased pressure to ensure prudence” in the current economic climate.

The long-standing discount entitlement will no longer be available to former East of England Co-op Society employees as of Monday September 14.

In a letter sent to retired Co-op staff, society president Gillian Bober announced the scheme would continue to be offered to current employees but would be withdrawn from pension benefits.

One former employee, who did not wish to be named, said the decision had caused “fury and distress.”

The member of staff for 17 years described the removal of the long-standing ten percent discount on most Co-op purchases as being “like a kick in the teeth.”

Co-op bosses claim the employee discount scheme is a non-contractual employment benefit for the 5,000 current colleagues working across the society and has only been afforded to society pensioners at the board of directors' discretion.

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“The society constantly reviews its business operations and following a recent review of its reward package, the board of directors decided that it is no longer appropriate to provide a discount scheme for those former employees who are still in receipt of this benefit,” said Miriam Harrup, communications manager for the East of England Co-operative Society.

Are you a Co-op pensioner? Will the benefit cut affect you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk