Union members agree on BT pension and pay deal

Members of the Communication Workers Union and employees of BT and BT Fleet have voted in favour of the BT pension and pay deal.

The new pensions agreement that covers 45,000 non-managers, was voted for by 78.6 per cent of union members. A further 58.2 per cent of BT Pension Scheme members voted to accept the proposals and BTRSS members voted by 81.2 per cent to accept.

The latest agreement was recommended by the union following months of talks and a rejection of BT’s initial proposals in January 2018.

The new arrangement involves the introduction of a new hybrid pension scheme for existing BTPS members that combines both defined benefit and defined contribution benefits.

BT said in a statement: “It is intended that this new arrangement will combine elements of both DB and DC pension schemes and be designed to support those team members on lower pay scales, giving them another option for their retirement savings.”

Transitional payments of up to 10 years for existing BTPS members has also been agreed for all ex-BTPS members moving to BTRSS and will provide a higher contribution rate of 11 per cent for an extended period.

CWU deputy general secretary telecoms and financial services Andy Kerr said: “I am pleased that our members have backed this key agreement. This has been a difficult, complex and emotive issue, especially for those in the BTPS.

“We said that BT could pay more and we deserved a better deal. By working together we significantly improved BT’s proposals and achieved a better deal for our members.”

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson, said earlier this year: “I feel it’s critical that we provide fair, flexible and affordable pensions for all our people. I’m committed to helping them save for retirement, so I’m pleased we’ve reached an agreement with our unions.

“These changes also bring far more financial certainty for the company in terms of our future pension arrangements. This will help us balance the needs of BT pensioners with the investments we are making to future-proof the UK’s communications networks and improve customer experience.”

BT’s defined benefit pension scheme will be closing for future accrual at the end of June 2018.

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