BBC should talk to Royal Mail to avoid conflict over pensions

Quasi -state sponsored pension scheme with pension-savvy staff representatives seeks solution to defined benefit funding conundrum” – sound familiar?

For BBC – read Royal Mail

For Licence Fee read postal monopoly

For Bechtu – read CWU

For solution – read CDC.

News that the High Court ruled out changes to the BBC’s promise to pay pensions against past and future earnings , should come as no surprise.

I’ll let Jo Cumbo tell the story

It comes as no surprise as forcing through changes requires consent not legal opinion.

Add to the equation the protracted struggle between UUS/UUK and UCU over the future accrual of their scheme and you get a consistent picture of detriment to scheme members transferring to detriment to customers. Industrial action should not be  in the DB playbook – but it now most definitely is. The workplace pension becomes the workless pension unless people talk sense to each other.

There is an obvious solution to the problems at the BBC. The answer is for a weakening sponsor with a long-term revenue covenant to link the pension contribution to payroll switching from insuring promises to managing pensions using the best endeavours of the BBC pension team.

I hope this is part of what the BBC is considering

I am not sure that the Royal Mail CDC scheme is over the line yet. Arguments continue over tax which look like tipping the start date into 2024.

Bectu should be keeping close to CWU, BBC should be talking with Royal Mail. We don’t need any more pension strikes, we don’t need to feed the pension lawyers. We need constructive negotiations using the new legislation and regulation to promote confidence in pensions , whether they come with a guarantee or “best endeavours”.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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