Union Unite condemns BAA decision to replace final salary pension with defined contribution scheme for new staff

BAA’s decision to close its final-salary pension scheme to new members has been condemed by trade union Unite as outrageous and unjustifiable.

From 1 December, new employees will be invited to join a new, defined contribution (money purchase) scheme, details of which will be announced after consultation with trade unions.

BAA said the move towards a defined contribution scheme for new entrants brought the company’s pension arrangements in line with those of most UK private employers.

The company said it was making the decision for two reasons:

to protect itself and its pensioners from stock market volatility, which has recently exposed other large organisations to significant difficulties in terms of funding their pension schemes

the money purchase scheme for new members will provide more certainty about the scale of the company’s contributions for several years.

Brendan Gold, Unite national secretary for civil air transport, said: “Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are going to join BAA, especially as security workers, to be told they will have a different deal on pensions from those they will work alongside.”

Unite has more than 4,000 members at BAA, including security workers and fire fighters.

“We will consult our shop stewards across the airport operations to discuss how we campaign against this outrageous and wholly unjustifiable decision,” Gold added.

Last month it was reported that Spanish-owned BAA was to axe up to 2,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive.

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