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Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, 4:13 am

The Original Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pension Has Suddenly Vanished

Techrights: Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023: Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

Summary: The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)

IT has been about a week since we ended the series about my former employer and opportunistic CEO, who carried the term “Open Source” in vain (there’s a relatively short summary of the other issues). My wife resigned at the same time as me and she too has been attempting to understand what happened to the pensions.

Yes, pensions (plural).

Back in 2016 the pensions were changed and the old one seemingly evaporated. Former staff (that had left the company already) wondered what happened. These things could not be tracked down and there were obstacles impeding those desperate to find out. The Pension Tracker and Regulator were of no use, either. The government isn’t helping.

In the upcoming Sirius (pensiongate) articles we’re going to look at what happens when British workers suddenly discover that a pension simply vanished, even if the paperwork with all the references and the names is still fully intact. Even large pension providers are implicated in this, and it is unclear if they facilitate so-called ‘liberation’ schemes that let people plunder other people’s money. I wrote about this last month in my personal blog, but this series looks at it from another angle.

Generally speaking, what good are pensions when pension providers can certainly collapse or if the company offering a pension to staff collapses (and steals everyone’s money in the process)? How is that financial security? Seems more like a Ponzi scheme with a clock set to detonate everything a decade or more later. The so-called “financial industry” is not an industry and economics isn’t a science but a religion.

“Stock market pensions force us to give money to billionaires or else we don’t get pensions,” to quote someone from IRC (last night). “That’s the point.”

My best friend warned me about this over a decade ago. Are pensions any safer than bank accounts? And what will large technology companies do after economic downturns? Zoom is the latest to lay off loads of workers.

In the case of Sirius, existing and past staff aren’t fully aware of what’s happening. After about 3 hours waiting and speaking over the telephone (at great expense to myself) I think I’m ready to establish and report some uncomfortable facts. Colleagues might want to know and deserve to know what’s really happening. Some might to take what’s left in the pension, even with 55% tax, before the company once again plunders people’s pensions, as it apparently did before. I spoke to both pension providers and it’s rather revealing. They too would find it illuminating.

We already consider suing the company, which is effectively in hiding, but if it files for bankruptcy in the process, then only the lawyers will win. If we pass this on to other former staff, which is impacted and may help organise class action, it’s the same problem. The company Sirius already operates through several tiny shells in several countries. It’s most likely about evading liabilities (business and personal).

In the next part we shall take a look at some of the substance and highlight how this establishes a pattern of deceit and backstabbing.

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