UK - British Airways pensioners have attacked the government for scrapping plans to extend the pensions ombudsman's remit.
The pensioners’ association has held off from making a complaint against the airline giant for almost eight months.
Nabarro Nathanson drafted the pensioners’ claim after BA trustees rejected a call from the Association of British Airways Pensioners to remove a clause that allows BA to use surplus to secure early retirement benefits.
ABAP chairman George Bell explained that the association had been waiting to file its complaint on the premise that the government was extending the ombudsman’s remit. He said the wait was “unacceptable”.
The department for work and pensions dismissed the draft changes to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 on the basis that the changes “would not be as beneficial as originally envisaged” and they would add a “further layer of complexity to an area of legislation which needs to be simplified”.
ABAP hopes to file its revised complaint to the ombudsman in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the association is embroiled in a row with BA over the company’s “lack of consultation” when making its decision to split the trustee board across its two major schemes – the British Airways Pension Scheme and the New British Airways Pension Scheme.
Bell explained that ABAP was in the middle of responding to the airline’s proposals to split the trustee board – which the association largely agreed with – when he received a letter from BA chief executive Rod Eddington saying the consultation had ended.
He said: “The company said it thought the consultation had concluded on the matter.
“This is complete and gross discourtesy. It makes us believe that the consultation process was a charade.”
A BA spokeswoman said: “My understanding is that we have discussed these issues quite extensively with ABAP.”
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