EDF Energy consults on opening defined benefit pension scheme to new members


New employees at EDF Energy would be given access to its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme through a proposed deal negotiated with trade unions.

The deal has received the backing of EDF Energy staff that are members of trade union Unison; 79% of members balloted voted on the pension proposal and 97% support the agreement.

Members of trade union GMB that are employed by EDF Energy have also voted in favour of the agreement; 95% of the 75% who turned out for the ballot have voted to accept the pensions deal.

The pensions agreement would also introduce a pensionable salary cap of 1% for employees on basic pay above £65,000. This threshold would be linked to salary increases.

New entrants into the pension scheme would have access to a new career average revalued earnings (CARE) scheme. Some existing employees would be rolled into the new CARE scheme automatically, but will have the chance to remain in the present DB final salary scheme should they opt to do so.

The deal is expected to save EDF Energy approximately £270m from the present deficit, and around £20m in yearly funding costs.

Dave Prentis, general secretary at Unison, said: “This unique deal means existing members of staff will retain their defined benefit scheme. And it is great news that this deal also extends to new entrants. Future workers at EDF Energy will enjoy some of the best workers’ pensions in the private sector.

“It is rare in this economic climate to secure such a good pension scheme for private sector workers.”

Eamon O Hearn Large, national officer at GMB, added: “The agreement will ensure that there are no further changes to EDF pensions for at least the next five years. It also provides a DB CARE scheme for new entrants, bucking the trend of closing schemes in the UK private sector.

Almost all GMB members will see no change to their current pension arrangements and some will benefit from the new DB CARE scheme.

Keeping an open DB scheme for new members is a brilliant achievement for GMB members in the face of closures in other private sector companies.”

EDF was unable to comment at this time.