BA plans to raise retirement age to 60 for cabin staff

British Airways has proposed to raise the retirement age for some of its workers in a bid to close a £1bn black hole in its pension scheme.

Under the proposals, the compulsory retirement age for pilots and cabin crew will rise to 60 from 55.

Willie Walsh, BA chief executive, said the change “will provide competitive, affordable pensions for the future”.

The airline also pledged to pay an extra £500m into the pension scheme once the changes have come into force.

The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), the largest trade union at BA with more than 20,000 members, said the plans would mean more pain for a workforce who had already delivered changes and massive savings to the airline.

Brendan Gold, T&G national secretary for civil air transport, said: “It was no secret that BA’s pension funds were in deficit but we still don’t really know if today’s measures will be the right ones for our members and for the scheme.

“We need to judge the proposals against affordability by the company and by our members.”

The union welcomed the fact the final salary principle remains, but urged the company to “recognise its responsibilities” and put the cash lump sum up-front and not make it conditional.

BA recently announced plans to save about £225m a year, but has yet to identify the job implications of that plan.

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