BBC chiefs to meet with unions to discuss controversial pension plans

Unions have agreed to meet BBC management to discuss controversial changes to the staff pension scheme.

The proposals for new pension arrangements, currently undergoing a consultation with members of the scheme, involve raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 in 2016, and offering new staff a ‘career average’ rather than final-salary pension.

Broadcast union Bectu insists that the corporation’s £6.4bn is secure, can meet all its liabilities, and believes that the proposed changes are unnecessary.

But BBC director general, Mark Thompson, said the pressures on the scheme mean that for it to remain secure and affordable, the corporation had to make changes.

Plans to ballot for industrial action have been postponed while talks resume, but unions have warned that, unless the BBC is willing to negotiate significant compromises to its proposals, industrial action could lie ahead.

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