UK - A row has broken out between British Airways and its pensioners' association over the length of tenure of the trustee board.
The airline giant has used a loophole in the interim regulations for member-nominated trustees to extend its opt-out period by 10 years – the normal extension is only four years.
The Association of British Airways Pensioners is furious with BA because it did not hold a consultation with the group over the opt-out until after the action was taken.
The trustee board currently holds a majority of three active member-nominated trustees to four pensioner members.
ABAP claims this mix is “unrepresentative” of the scheme’s membership across the £5.9bn Airways Pension Scheme, the membership of which consists of 90% pensioners and deferred pensioners.
ABAP chairman George Bell said: “There is a kink in the MNT interim regulations which means if anyone processed a new opt-out before October 7 those opt-outs have a life of 10 years.
“BA applied for its opt-out on September 27 and the regulations became law on October 6.”
He added: “BA said it wasn’t aware of this 10-year loophole but to get an application in that narrow window without knowing what it was doing is unlikely.
“And BA has refused our request to reduce the opt-out to four years.”
BA was unavailable for comment.
*Earlier this month, BA split the trustee board across its two DB schemes, the Airways Pension Scheme and the New Airways Pension Scheme.
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