BT pensions boost thanks to CWU persistence



Thousands of members in the BTRSS and BT Hybrid pension schemes are now accruing additional pension benefits thanks to the company’s belated implementation of some important CWU wins in the complex negotiations surrounding the 2018 Pension Review.

These involve the company’s agreement to make a number of allowances that weren’t previously pensionable count towards pension benefits.

The improvements – which were secured by the union in the difficult and inter-related discussions regarding a new pan-BT pensions settlement following the closure of the BTPS to future accrual – should have come into effect in April last year. In the event, however, they were delayed , until now, pending the development of systems capable of calculating the pensions benefits accruing from the new-found pensionability of four key allowances.

Assistant secretary Dave Jukes explains: “We’ve been chasing BT some time now to ensure the company fulfils its side of the agreement to make shift allowances, the night time and Sunday attendance premiums and the outside broadcast allowance universally pensionable – and I’m pleased to say that has finally now occurred.

“Some shift allowances were already pensionable, as were some overtime payments, but the belated implementation of this agreement provides an important level of uniformity across the piece which was previously lacking .

“Crucially many of our members in the BTRSS and BT Hybrid schemes are now accruing additional pension benefits as a result.

“Those allowances are backdated to April 2019 – and while their effect on individuals’ eventual pensions obviously varies from case to case, the positive effect is significant enough not to be sniffed at, especially in this day and age.”

Dave concludes: “While its certainly true to say that the details of how DC pension benefits are calculated is not the most penetrable subject, real people are now receiving tangible benefits from changes that only came about because of the CWU’s persistence at both the negotiating stage, and subsequently with regards to getting this put  into effect.

“If the CWU hadn’t fought hard for these allowances to have been made pensionable it simply wouldn’t have happened – so it certainly demonstrates one of the key benefits of being part of a recognised union that can collectively bargain on its members’ behalf.

“Similarly, had it not been for the pressure we’ve continued to exert on BT to deliver what it promised in 2018, the likelihood is that this would have been left dragging on for some time to come.”

For more information see: LTB 077/20