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>> Pensions >> BBC's intended changes to its pension scheme.

Message started by ianpollock on Jan 1st, 2023, 6:41pm

Title: BBC's intended changes to its pension scheme.
Post by ianpollock on Jan 1st, 2023, 6:41pm

This evening I sent an email to the BBC Pensioners' Association. To promote some discussion I share the email below. What do you think?

"Dear BBC Pensioners' Association,

I would like to ask what, if anything, you intend to do about the BBC's intention to alter the rules of the BBC pension scheme, which was announced last May?

At the time you repeated the BBC's assurance that its plan did not affect the rights of retired members and so you would simply keep watch on how things proceeded.

There will now be a High Court hearing, scheduled for this coming May, to determine what the BBC calls the "correct interpretation" of rule 19 of the scheme's rules.

This rule (page 104 and 105) makes it very hard for the BBC, or the BBC and the trustees together, to change the scheme's rules in such a way as to "substantially prejudice" the interests of active members, or retired and deferred members.

Indeed, as a matter of plain English, this rule cannot be interpreted otherwise.

I was, for 12 years, an elected trustee of the scheme and at no time did anyone, anywhere, question the meaning or scope of this rule.

So the fact that the BBC now seeks legal authority to make some sort of change (as yet unspecified) to rule 19 clearly implies some sort of intended jiggery-pokery by which member's interests could indeed be altered substantially.

Regardless of what the BBC says about not planning to change anything that would undermine accrued benefits (which by definition includes pensions in payments) I take a completely different view: that the BBC simply cannot be trusted.

It should be obvious that if the BBC gains a new power to alter the future accrual of pensions by contributing members (for instance by reducing their rate of accrual or raising the level of contributions they pay) then the accrued rights of retired members may come under threat.

As the trustees pointed out in a letter to scheme members last May, there are only 7,200 contributing members but there are 25,700 pensioners and 26,700 deferred members.

What should the Association do?

I suggest that you should do more than simply keep a watching brief on developments.

Instead you should join the legal action in the High Court, alongside the trustees and the representative beneficiary.

If it emerges in court that the BBC's plans might affect pensioners after all, it might be too late for the association to get involved at that late stage.

I urge you to get involved now.

Title: Re: BBC's intended changes to its pension scheme.
Post by Delboy on Jan 2nd, 2023, 4:19pm

Certainly they're going to have to change one aspect of the scheme with regard to calculating increases for some pensioners.
This is because the Govt is getting rid of RPI in 2030, so on what figure will they base the increases after that date?

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