ITN claims increase in employee contributions is key to its pensions crisis

ITN believes an increase in employee contributions could be the key to resolving its pension crisis.

The broadcaster seemed to have reached a deadlock in attempts to make its final salary pension scheme financially viable.

It had proposed increasing the retirement age from 60 to 65, changing the accrual rate from 1/50th to 1/60th, and putting a cap of a 2.5% increase on pensions paid to staff.

But members of the Bectu union announced two strikes this month in response to these plans. These were then called off after ITN made a compromise offer that would give more benefits to staff in return for a contribution raised from 6% to 8%.

Union negotiators are recommending members accept the proposals in forthcoming ballots, and both strikes have been suspended.

“ITN is committed to finding a workable solution to ensure its defined benefit pension scheme remains open to members,” said a spokeswoman.

“Throughout the consultation period, ITN listened to staff feedback and suggestions on the proposed changes to the final salary pension scheme.

“While ITN’s underlying funding position has not changed, after taking the feedback on board, we revisited the proposed benefits structure and have proposed an alternative solution to our members.”

The new offer includes a retirement age of 63, an accrual rate of 1/60th, and the retention of the existing 5% cap on pensions in payment.

Bectu assistant general secretary, Gerry Morrissey, said: “Clearly, ITN management assumed our members would back down over this issue.

“However, they underestimated the strength of feeling among members over their pension scheme, and we are pleased ITN has been forced to come back to the negotiating table with a significantly better offer.”

Comments are closed.