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BECTU Condemns BBC Pension Changes

BECTU has today condemned the BBC's confirmation of plans to radically change pension provision for current and future staff from December this year.
The BBC has agreed to demands from BECTU, the NUJ and Unite to keep the current pension schemes open to existing staff. In addition the BBC has conceded no change to the retirement age, no changes to accrual rates and no further increases in employee contributions.
However, following the BBC's announcement that the defined benefit schemes have a deficit of almost £2 billion, today the Corporation proposed a number of significant changes which are now subject to 90 days consultation with the recognised unions and with members of the pension schemes in the BBC, BBC Worldwide and Studios and Post Production Ltd.
The proposed key changes would see the defined benefit pension/career average schemes closed to new employees from December 2010. For current members future increases in pensionable pay would be capped at a maximum 1% per year irrespective of the level of any pay award or increases following staff promotions.
Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary, said: "BECTU and our sister unions at the BBC have been campaigning in advance of the announcements for the pension schemes to remain open and we welcome the fact that current staff will continue to accrue benefits.
"However the restriction on future pensionable salary increases of 1% will permanently break the link between an individual’s salary and their final pension."
BECTU and its co-organisers in the NUJ and Unite, will be holding a series of meetings across the country from 5 July to gather members' views on the proposals.
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