The decision taken by BAA means that new employees will be invited to join a new, defined contribution (money purchase) scheme. It will not affect the pensions of existing employees, BAA said.
It 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.
However, the unions said the scheme was healthy and that changes must, therefore, be a cost-cutting measure at the workforce’s expense.
Brendan Gold, Unite national secretary for civil air transport, said: “The unions are not prepared to accept a reduction in BAA’s pension provision. We told the chief executive that the company’s decision is unacceptable. Unions will mount a vigorous campaign industrially, politically and publicly to ensure this decision is reversed.”