ITN proposed DB scheme changes

In November last year ITN proposed changes to its defined benefit scheme to reduce its own payments by £10 million a year.

The scheme has about 800 members and a deficit of £205 million despite cash injections.

Unions were told that the company wanted to reduce its contribution, which averages 28% of payroll, to 18%, and that without some modification the costs would rise to 34% of payroll.

The proposals, rejected by unions, included an increase in employee contributions to 7%, retirement at 60 and the pension to be based on members’ career average rather than final salary. It also proposed a reduction in the accrual rate, from 50ths to 60ths.

The changes were due to take place in January, but the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union and the National Union of Journalists balloted their members for industrial action after ITN refused to compromise.

ITN responded with new proposals, which include reducing the retirement age from 65 to 63, rather than 60. In return, it has proposed that staff contributions should rise by 2%.

Louise Evans, director of comunications at ITN, says: "Our intention the whole way through was to reach a satisfactory position for both employer and employees. We learned that staff would rather pay an extra 2% into the scheme than have the retirement age moved from 60 to 65 and so it was settled at 63."