CWU DETERMINED TO KEEP BT PENSION SCHEME OPEN

The CWU continues to oppose closure of the BT Pension Scheme as tough talks continue with BT over future pension provision.

The review has been triggered due to the deficit in the defined benefit BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) estimated to be £13 billion.  This is compounded by BT’s claim that the cost of paying future benefits for those still working for BT is expected to double next year.

Andy Kerr Deputy General Secretary (T&FS) explained: “The CWU remains resolute in our opposition to closure of the BT Pension Scheme. We have made it clear that any move to closure will result in an industrial dispute.”

The CWU has argued that BT remains a successful and profitable company and is challenging the financial case made by BT. While the company may face cost pressures in funding the future of the BTPS, it’s not the fault of our members in the BTPS who will have made plans for their future retirement based on their expected pension.

Andy added: “This is a seriously difficult and unsettling situation for all BTPS members and the CWU is determined to ensure that the BTPS remains open for future service”.

BT has set out some possible options for controlling costs in the new communication issued today. The CWU is discussing these with BT, but it is important to stress that we have not agreed to any of the options mentioned.

Separately, BT has now agreed to include the defined contribution BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS) in the review.

Andy Kerr said: “The CWU has now ensured that the BTRSS is part of this review which means we now have the chance to achieve improvements in the BTRSS – of which half of BT’s current workforce are members.

“While we improved the BTRSS in 2009, we have identified the need for enhancements to BT contributions, the minimum BT payment, pension charges, death in service, medical retirement and the treatment of allowances”.

The CWU will continue to keep members advised of developments. In the meantime, if members have comments or queries please contact your local CWU Branch or email btpensions@cwu.org Please note that the CWU is unable to give individual financial advice.