#NQ7: Unity in retirement

Recent years have seen an intensifying of the considerable challenges for those of our members who are retired and those contemplating retirement.

The structural shift in the probation service brought about by Transforming Rehabilitation has seen a surge in early retirement due to drastic cuts in staffing in the CRCs. Others across the NPS, CRCs and Cafcass have chosen to opt for retirement for personal reasons in consequence of a harsher and constantly shifting and uncertain working environment. On the reverse side those members who have been planning for their retirement have seen changes to pension eligibility that has disrupted those plans and delayed reasonable expectations.

Napo understandably focuses efforts on issues affecting employment and so does not have a particular facility to address comprehensively the array of issues affecting retirement. In recent years however Napo has been in discussions with the Civil Service Pensioners Alliance (CSPA). This is an organisation dedicated to campaigning on behalf of retired members of the public service and providing advice and assistance on a wide range of matters including free legal and financial advice and computer support. Membership of the CSPA is now open to all our members who have retired and those over 55 contemplating retirement. Individual membership costs £24 a year but the subscription is currently waived for Napo members for the first 6 months.

The CSPA is a major campaigning organisation for the rights of current and potential pensioners. It is organised in local branches, with an annual conference (not unlike Napo in both respects) in which retired union activists can ally with others in advancing social justice issues. With other campaigning organisations and trade unions it forms part of a wider alliance (“Later Life Ambitions”) to progress that agenda.

A major tenet of trade unionism is that “Unity is Strength”. This is equally true for those of us who are retired. For further information please take a look at the CSPA website at


Peter Robinson



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