UK - Communications firm Crown Castle International is retaining its defined benefit scheme after prolonged talks with union leaders.
Crown Castle – a partner in the BBC’s digital service – had planned to wind up the scheme of around 200 transmission engineers.
The engineers – all former BBC employees – transferred to Crown Castle at the beginning of the year.
Crown Castle – the world’s leading operator of shared wireless communications and broadcast infrastructure – intended to wind-up the employees’ DB scheme in favour of a defined contribution arrangement.
But after months of talks with the Broadcast, Entertainment, Cinematography and Theatre Union, the company has now agreed to keep a defined benefit scheme, which will now run on a career average basis.
BECTU assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey said the change was only feasible because only a small number of staff – all of whom were mature in their positions – were involved.
He added that the deal had also reduced the company’s pension costs.
Morrissey said: “We successfully knocked off 15% from the actuarial deficit assessment, which assumed pay increases and promotions.
“In this case employees are not likely to be promoted and we were delighted to reach a settlement.”
A ballot of BECTU members saw a 95% majority in favour of the new proposal, which also includes a two percentage point rise in employee contributions.
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