NUJ anger as BBC ends final salary pension scheme

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The National Union of Journalists has hit out at planned sweeping changes to the BBC pension scheme which it claims will result in thousands of staff working longer, paying more and receiving reduced benefits.

The BBC is the latest employer to reveal that it aims to scrap its current final salary pension scheme.

According to the NUJ, the BBC plans from September to introduce a new pension scheme for new staff.

The union says the changes will mean:

  • The closure of the final salary pension scheme to new starters and its replacement with a career average scheme which will leave new starters an average of 30 per cent worse off than their colleagues.
  • An increase in the normal retirement age to 65 in 2016.
  • An increase in contributions for existing staff from 5.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent by 1 April 2007 with a likely further increase to 9 per cent from 1 April 2008.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said that the corporation’s pension scheme faced numerous financial pressures, including longer life expectancy, lower investment returns and higher regulatory costs.

"The pressures on the scheme mean that for it to remain secure and affordable, we have to make some changes both to its benefits and to the level at which it is funded by the BBC and its members. Doing nothing is not an option."

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