The agreed deal offers employees being moved from the organisation’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme, the BTPS, to its defined contribution (DC) scheme, the BTRSS, a transitional payment. Furthermore, employer contributions will be increased for existing members of the DC scheme, and a pay increase of between 1% and 2% will also be awarded, depending on performance and position in pay range.
Prospect members who work at the telecommunications organisation voted 74% in favour of the pay deal, and 60% in favour of the pension offer. BTPS members voted to accept the pensions proposals by 57%, and members of BT’s DC scheme voted by 85% to accept. The ballot closed on Friday 5 January 2018.
The new pay and pensions offer follows a review of BT’s DB pension scheme, which was conducted in spring 2017. The review proposed closing the DB scheme to future accrual from April 2018 for 11,000 managers who were employed by BT prior to 2001. These managers would then be moved into the BTRSS DC arrangement.
The BTPS has been closed to new members since 2001, and new joiners to BT have instead been placed in the organisation’s DC pension scheme.
A spokesperson at BT said: “We’re pleased that employees represented by Prospect have voted to accept the changes we’re proposing to our two largest pension schemes. We understand the importance of our proposals for our employees and have spent considerable time developing them and working with Prospect, to ensure they are fair, flexible and affordable for all.
“Our employee consultation is due to end on [17 January], after which we’ll consider all feedback before announcing our plans.”
Philippa Childs, national secretary at Prospect, added: “This vote gives us a mandate on which to reach a final agreement with BT. While the margin among those in the BTPS is understandably much closer, members in both schemes have voted to accept the proposals.
“We recognise that this has been a difficult and painful decision for those who are currently members of the BTPS. However, the improvements we have negotiated and the transition arrangements will soften the blow for those having to move. Those who are already in the BTRSS, because they joined BT after 2001, will also see improvements.”