BAA staff to accept pension changes

British Airport Authority (BAA) workers have voted to accept a new pensions package secured by Unite and their employer.

The agreement means that the organisation’s final salary pension scheme will be protected for 12 years for existing members. The scheme will be closed to new members but a new defined contribution (DC) scheme will be introduced for new employees. This scheme will have a default option of a 5% employee contribution and a 10% contribution from the employer. It will also include death-in-service benefits.

Some 70% of Unite members voted in favour of the deal.

Steve Turner, Unite’s national secretary for aviation, said: “The closure of the final salary scheme to new employees is a bitter pill to swallow and a move that we fought hard to prevent. A clear majority of our members accept, however, that these changes provide the best basis for pension security long into the future while offering a decent replacement to those joining the company now.

“Unite fought tooth and nail to protect the final salary scheme for all but this is a fight we will carry forward to provide all our current and future BAA members with a decent, well-earned income when they retire. We will work tirelessly to ensure dignity long into retirement for all our members, whether in the existing scheme or in its replacement.”